Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Algeria president taken to hospital

Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has suffered a mini-stroke (AP/Anis Belghoul)

Algeria's president was taken to hospital after having a mini-stroke without serious complications, the state news agency said.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 76, had a brief blockage of a blood vessel - called a transient ischemic attack - around noon yesterday, Rachid Bougherbal, the director of the national centre of sports medicine told the state news agency.

"His excellency the president of the republic must observe a period of rest for further examinations," he said, adding that "there was no reason for worry".

Premier Abdelmalek Sellal said the president was in hospital, "but the situation is not serious".

Mr Bouteflika has ruled the oil-rich North African country since 1999 and has long been believed to be in poor health and rarely appears in public. The state news agency rarely carries any reports on the president's health

The announcement also comes as speculation is rife that Mr Bouteflika will run for a fourth term in presidential elections just a year away, despite promises to step down. In Algeria, power is delicately shared between civilian politicians and the powerful military.

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