Algeria has banned all Syrians from entering the country via its southern borders, hours after a rights group reported that 50 Syrians and Palestinians had been deported to neighbouring Niger in the last week.

Hassen Kacimi, the head of migrants policy at the interior ministry, said that Syrians seeking refuge this way were suspected to be armed fighters.

Kacimi said around 100 people had reached the southern border with the help of local armed escorts in recent weeks but were intercepted and expelled shortly after they slipped into Algeria.

He said that the Syrians had transited Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan and Niger or Mali using fake Sudanese passports.

SourceAl Jazeera