Africa

Algerian President Bouteflika in Paris hospital check-up

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika pictured on 16 July 2013 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption For the last few years Abdelaziz Bouteflika has rarely appeared in public

Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is staying in a Paris hospital for a planned medical check-up, his office has said in a statement.

The 76-year-old was admitted to the French Val-de-Grace hospital on Monday and will stay there until Friday.

Mr Bouteflika, who has led the gas-rich North African state for nearly 15 years, had a mini-stroke last April.

He spent nearly three months in France receiving medical treatment before returning home in July.

"The president's health is improving certainly, and progressively," the Reuters news agency quotes the presidential statement as saying.

Presidential elections are due to be held in Algeria in April.

Mr Bouteflika has yet to announce whether he will run for a fourth term, although he already has the backing of the ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) party.

He became president in 1999 and is regarded as being among the last of a generation of leaders who fought in the 1954-1962 war of independence from France.

A leaked US diplomatic cable in 2007 suggested he might be suffering from terminal stomach cancer, and in the last few years he has rarely appeared in public or travelled outside the capital.

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