At least 18 people have been killed and 43 others injured in a fire incident at a camp for African migrants in Algeria.
Emergency services said on Tuesday that the blaze began before dawn at the camp housing about 600 migrants in Ouargla, 800 kilometers (500 miles) southeast of Algeria’s capital, Algiers.
According to the head of the Algerian Red Crescent, Saida Benhabiles, “a short circuit triggered the explosion of a heater and the fire.”
Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
Algeria has been a top North African destination for sub-Saharans seeking a better life.
Benhabiles said that since 2014, Algeria has managed to send back more than 4,000 migrants from Niger, adding that 400 more migrants were due to be returned to Niger from Ouargla.
According to Benhabiles, the migrants “are constantly on the move. One day, there could be 2,000 (migrants) and the next they are 200.”