Algerian President Bouteflika suffers mini-stroke: Report

AFP , Sunday 28 Apr 2013

Bouteflika is being treated from a mini-stroke at military hospital in Paris; Algerian presidency says there is no cause for "any anxiety" over the president's health

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seen at the presidential palace in Algiers, in this file picture taken December 11, 2011. (Photo: Reuters)

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suffered a mini-stroke Saturday and was flown to Paris for exams, but is not experiencing any lasting effects, the APS news agency reported.

Bouteflika, 76, had a "transient ischemia", a temporary blockage of blood flow often called a "mini-stroke", Rachid Bougherbal, the director of the National Sports Medicine Centre, told APS.

"An initial investigation has already been opened and his excellency the president of the republic must observe a period of rest to undergo exams," Bougherbal said.

He insisted there was no cause for "any anxiety" over the president's health.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal also urged calm in comments reported by APS.

"Several hours ago the president felt a little faint and was hospitalised, but his situation is not at all serious," said Sellal, who did not interrupt a visit to the northern city of Bejaia.

APS said Bouteflika had been taken to the French capital for "further tests under the recommendation of his doctor", citing a medical source who said his condition was stable but that he would need several days of rest.

The Algerian president arrived at Le Bourget airport outside Paris and was driven under army escort to the Val de Grace military hospital, which often treats high-profile patients from France and abroad.

Elected president in 1999 and re-elected in 2004 and again in 2009 thanks to a constitutional change ending term limits, Bouteflika had a previous health scare in 2005, when he underwent surgery in Paris for a bleeding ulcer.

A veteran of Algeria's war for independence from France, Bouteflika helped end a decade-long civil war that killed at least 150,000 people and is known abroad for bringing stability to the country.

His government launched political reforms in the wake of the Arab Spring unrest that toppled other long-standing rulers in the region, but still comes under criticism from rights groups.

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