Algeria's official news agency says 15 people have been killed in overnight ethnic clashes around the southern region near the oasis city of Ghardaia.

Sometimes deadly confrontations between Arabs and Berbers have occurred regularly in the region last year and have spiked again at the beginning of July.

The APS news agency said 14 people died of injuries from "projectiles" in Guerrara, 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Ghardaia, where a 15th person was fatally injured when hit by a rock to the head.

Three people had been killed in confrontations a day earlier, bringing the total 48-hour death toll to 18.