Algerian government authorities shut down internet in the country in an attempt to prevent cheating in high school examinations, known as the Baccalaureate exams, which began on Wednesday. Mobile and fixed internet connections were cut across the country for two hours, to coincide with the start of school exams, AFP reported.

The blackouts are scheduled to continue till June 25, to combat cheating among seven lakh students. However, it is not known how long the blackout will last each day.

Algerian Education Minister Nouria Benghabrit said mobile phones and tablets have been banned from exam centres and metal detectors set up at the entrances. Mobile phone jammers and surveillance cameras have been installed in locations where exam papers are printed, he added.

The move follows widespread incidents of cheating during the 2016 exams, and the failure of a social media blackout to prevent similar incidents in 2017.