Two suspected members of the Irish Republican Army were arrested by West German police at the border with the Netherlands, a British official said Wednesday.

The official told Reuters that customs officers had found automatic pistols, revolvers and ammunition when they stopped a West German-registered car at a countryside border crossing on Tuesday night.The two passengers, who were carrying British passports, were then arrested. The official said the nationalities of the two men arrested could not be immediately confirmed.

West German police sources said the incident took place at the Heinsberg border crossing near Aachen.

In previous attacks on British installations in West Germany, IRA guerrillas have used the border with the Netherlands as an entry and departure point.

The British official, who asked not to be identified, said the arrests were probably made by chance and were not the result of a tip-off.

The car was carrying number plates from the West German city of Mainz, he added.