Greece arrests three armed Britons at Turkish border

Migrants and refugees sit around tents as they wait after Turkish police forces block them on a highway near Edirn during their march to the border between Turkey and Greece on September 19, 2015 (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

Thessaloniki (Greece) (AFP) - Greek police said Sunday they had arrested three heavily armed Britons near the border with Turkey where they were suspected of heading to join Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State jihadists.

One of the three, a 40-year-old said to be of Kurdish Iraqi origin, had four firearms and 200,000 rounds in his possession when he was picked up at the Kipi border post on the Evros River which borders the two nations.

Police arrested two other men, both in their mid-30s, in the port of Alexandropolis, the main town in the Evros region and a key commercial centre in northeastern Greece.

They were found in possession of 18 firearms and 40,000 22mm and 5.5 mm bullets stowed in a trailer.

Counter-terrorism services are now investigating the trio afer police said they suspected all three of "terrorism and belonging to a criminal organisation," as well as arms trafficking.

On January 31, two men with Swedish passports were arrested in the same region after they were found carrying "combat material" having flown to Greece from Sweden before heading towards Turkey by bus.

One, Mirsad Bektasevic, a suspected jihadist of Bosnian origin, was charged with "terrorist" activities along with an accomplice believed to hail from Yemen.

Bektasevic was previously arrested in 2005 in Sarajevo after a police search of his house uncovered ammunition and explosives and a video in which a masked man called for attacks on Capitol Hill and the White House.