Mosque in Ordos, Inner Mongolia
Mosque in Ordos, Inner Mongolia Getty Images

Six of the 11 Britons detained in China on suspicion of links to a "terror group" have been expelled from the country, diplomats said.

Those arrested were part of a 20-person group of foreign tourists on a 47-day visit to China who were taken into custody in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, on 10 July.

Gift of Givers, the South African-based charity that the group belonged to, said China had accused those arrested of belonging to a terror group.

On its Facebook page, it said: "The Chinese... suggested that some members were linked to a terror group, to a banned organisation, to watching propaganda videos in their hotel room."

The group consisted of Indian, British and South African citizens, none of whom had terror links, said Gift of Givers. The charity was inspired by the mystical Sufi branch of Islam, according to its website, and is described as the "largest disaster response NGO of African origin on the African continent".

The charity's founder, Imtiaz Sooliman, told South African media that members of the group were likely to have been watching Islamic prayer videos during Ramadan.

China has not revealed why it arrested the group.

The Foreign Office said that UK officials had provided consular assistance to those arrested, and that UK officials were "seeking further clarification" on the reason for the arrests.