Algeria’s army on Monday ambushed and arrested a group trying to cross its border with Niger as the military increases border controls, fearing militants spilling over from neighbouring Libya and Mali.

The ministry of defense issued a statement but gave few details on the ambush, saying the group of “criminals” of Sudanese and Chadian nationality was travelling in jeeps and motorbikes in an area known for smuggling, gun running and militant activity.

Algeria has been heightening patrols and surveillance along its vast southern desert borders. […]