German police arrest "bomb plotters"

German police say they have arrested two men suspected of planning a bomb attack.

The pair was detained in Berlin early Thursday, and is suspected of procuring chemical substances which could be used to make explosives.

The BBC reported that one of the men is described as a 24-year-old German citizen of Lebanese descent. The other is understood to be from the Gaza Strip, and is aged 28.

Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorff said officers were searching the apartments of the men – as well as the premises of an Islamic cultural center in the Wedding district.

The two men, who are not identified, were suspected of planning a "violent criminal act", said the Associated Press.

The Berliner Morgenpost newspaper reported that the two men had been under investigation for two months, and had purchased large quantities of coolants and an acid normally used in agriculture.

Pope Benedict XVI is due to visit Berlin in two weeks' time.