A security guard at the United Nations' European headquarters said that Swiss authorities were searching for four men believed to be in or near the city.

Federal police in the capital Berne said they had passed on information about people with possible links to terrorism, but were not connecting them to Islamist militant attacks in Paris last month in which 130 people were killed.

The newspaper Le Matin said a car registered in Belgium, home to some of the Paris attackers, had driven through a police check near Geneva, prompting police to examine a photograph of four suspected Islamist militants provided by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Two sources confirmed that the CIA had provided the photo, but CIA spokesman in Washington declined to comment.

Senior US and Russian diplomats are set to hold talks on Syria in Geneva today but the United Nations said the location would be kept secret.

Swiss and French officials say they have been working closely together since the Paris attacks.

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