Four Dutch nationals have been arrested in Kenya on suspicion of aiding insurgents in Somalia.

The four 21-year-olds, three born in Morocco, the other in Somalia, were stopped by Kenyan police as they were heading for the border.

The local police were not satisfied with their claims to be tourists.

There have been a series of recent reports that young men from the US, Europe and South Asia have joined the Somali insurgents in a “holy war”.

Lamu District Commissioner Stephen Ikua told the BBC the four had travelled by boat from Lamu island before hiring a tractor.

He said it was possible they were headed to Somalia to assist one of the insurgent groups there and they would be interrogated in Nairobi.

The Kenyan authorities say they have arrested and deported several other young men from Tanzania and the United States in the same area for the same reason.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says in recent months eyewitnesses in Somalia have reported seeing foreigners amongst the insurgent fighters known as al-Shabab.

Al-Shabab wants to overthrow the UN-backed transitional government in Somalia and put in place strict Islamic law.

The hardline Islamists control much of southern Somalia.

Foreigners have headed to Somalia to take part in what they consider a holy war or jihad.

The authorities in Minnesota in the United States are investigating claims that several young men were lured to Somalia to fight.

Since early May, the fighting between the insurgents and the forces loyal to Somalia’s government has displaced nearly 250,000 people.



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