Polisario Front soldiers drive a bakkie mounted with an anti-aircraft weapon at sunset in Bir Lahlou, Western Sahara. File picture: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

Madrid - Spanish authorities have issued a warning of the serious possibility of a terror attack against Spanish citizens visiting or working in the Saharawi refugee camps in the Western Sahara.

Defense Minister Margarita Robles told Cadena Ser radio Thursday that foreign intelligence services operating in the area have conveyed to Spain that the threat is “real” and “imminent,” and the government is advising people against traveling to the zone.

Dozens of Spaniards work in the camps situated in southwestern Algeria, while many others travel each year to visit Saharawi families and friends.

Islamic State group-linked extremists operate in the region.

The camps house some 100,000 Saharawis displaced after Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony of the Western Sahara in 1975.

AP