Turkish authorities say they have foiled an Islamist plan to carry out suicide attacks in Ankara on New Year's Eve. Counter-terrorism police arrested two suspected Islamic State (Isis) militants during a raid in the capital's Mamak district, the chief prosecutor office alleged.

Suicide vests and explosive materials were seized by officers searching the house where the two were found. The pair, identified only as M.C. and A.Y., are believed to have crossed into Turkey from Syria.

Authorities said the suspects probably intended to target New Year's Eve revellers celebrating in Kızılay Square and nearby bars, as they had previously scouted the central location. It was not immediately clear if the two were male or female and whether they were Turkish nationals as suggested in some reports.

In October more than 100 people were killed in a twin suicide bombing against a rally in Ankara. The attack was blamed on IS (Daesh).

The 30 December operation came days after Turkish police reportedly held another three alleged IS members in Istanbul. On 29 December local media reported a Briton and two Pakistanis accused of being tied to the jihadi group had been detained in recent days.

Numerous IS members and recruits are known to have transited through Turkey's 900-km porous border with Syria.