Spanish police have arrested seven people suspected of helping fund Islamic militants with links to the al-Qaida terrorist group.

Interior Minister Jose Antonio Alonso says the seven, arrested in the Costa del Sol region of southern Spain, had provided funds and logistical support to the Algerian-based Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.

Spanish authorities have stepped up efforts against Islamic militants since last year's al-Qaida-linked bombings of Madrid commuter trains that killed 191 people.

Last month, police arrested 11 people on charges of providing financial support for the same Algerian-based group in raids in other areas of southern Spain.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.