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UK diplomats are investigating reports that a British man has been arrested in Somalia on suspicion of links to the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab.

The 45-year-old was held at the airport in the capital, Mogadishu, after travelling from the UK via Nairobi in Kenya, according to reports.

He is alleged to have told immigration officials he was planning to go to Kismayo in southern Somalia, a port city held by al Shabaab, which is affiliated to al Qaida.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was aware of reports about the Briton's arrest.

Britons are thought to make up about a quarter of the estimated 200 foreigners fighting with al Shabaab in Somalia, according to a recent Royal United Services Institute report.

The FCO advises against all travel to war-torn Somalia.

The Press Association, photo: marco pontoni