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Authorities in London have confirmed that British armed forces have detained two British nationals in Afghanistan -- reportedly in connection with a possible attack on British interests.

The British Defense Ministry said in a statement on July 21 that British forces last week detained two individuals in Afghanistan who "claim to be British nationals."

The Foreign Office said two Britons were taken to Helmand Province and embassy staff were "providing assistance."

There was no immediate confirmation, however, of media reports saying the pair was suspected of fighting for the Taliban.

"The Times" newspaper in London reported that the two men were arrested while staying at the International Trade Centre hotel in Herat as a result of a covert mission involving British and Afghan forces.

On July 20, British troops handed responsibility for security in the capital of Helmand Province to Afghan forces as part of a planned pull-out of foreign combat forces from Afghanistan due to be completed by the end of 2014.

compiled from agency reports