2 arrested in Geneva while city on high alert

Swiss police officers standing guard outside the French consulate in Geneva on Friday.
Swiss police officers standing guard outside the French consulate in Geneva on Friday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

GENEVA • Two people of Syrian origin were arrested in the Geneva region on suspicion of making, hiding and transporting explosives and toxic gas, the office of Switerland's Attorney-General said, as the city remained on heightened alert.

Criminal proceedings have been opened against the two people under a law which prohibits groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the statement released yesterday said.

Local media said earlier in the day it was unclear if the arrests and the heightened security alert were connected, reported news website Politico. A police operation was under way on a road leading to the French border, RTS television reported.

A police spokesman in the canton of Geneva said tests had been carried out on a vehicle.

The police had been searching since Wednesday for four suspected militants, acting on information from the Central Intelligence Agency, reported Politico.

The police have been searching since Wednesday for four suspected militants... The men, whose photographs are being shown on Swiss media, are accused of links to ISIS.

The men, whose photographs are being shown on Swiss media, are accused of having links to ISIS.

The Geneva region raised its alert level to 3 on a five-point scale on Thursday, and armed police have been deployed at sensitive locations across the city, which is home to the United Nation's European headquarters.

Geneva is almost entirely enclosed by France, a country which is still reeling from the militant attacks hat left 130 people dead in Paris last month.

The militants behind the attacks, however, were all citizens of European countries.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 13, 2015, with the headline '2 arrested in Geneva while city on high alert'. Print Edition | Subscribe