Malaysia's police chief says 17 suspected militants have been detained for allegedly plotting to carry out terrorist acts in the country's largest city, Kuala Lumpur.

Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar says the 17 people were detained Sunday. Khalid tweeted on Monday that two of them had just returned from Syria. No further details were immediately available.

The government has detained scores of Malaysians believed to be supporters of the Islamic State militant group. Last month, the home ministry proposed two new anti-terror laws that will reintroduce indefinite detention without trial and allow the seizure of passports of anyone suspected of supporting terror acts to curb militant activities in the country.

Critics, however, say the new laws as a return of oppressive policies that will curb civil liberties.