Morocco says police have arrested five suspected militants with ties to extremist groups in the southern city of Marrakech, the nation's top tourist destination.

The statement from the Interior Ministry said the men were arrested Saturday and three had ties to the Islamic State group in Syria.

The statement says the other two were known for promoting "terrorist" ideas, including carrying out attacks in Morocco with suicide belts.

In 2011, a bomb planted in a popular cafe in Marrakech killed more than a dozen foreigners, in a rare terrorist attack in the kingdom.

Police frequently announce dismantling extremist cells. On Thursday five French nationals were arrested, some residing in Marrakech.

In July, authorities expressed concern over the threat of jihadis returning from Syria carrying out attacks in Morocco.