28 April 2013

Algeria: Bouteflika Flown to Paris Hospital After Mini-Stroke

Photo: Sophie Paris/UN
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, left, meets UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo).

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was in a Paris hospital Sunday after suffering a mini-stroke. Ther 76-year-old president is not seriously ill, doctors have told the APS news agency.

Bouteflika suffered a "transient ischemia" Saturday, a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain often called a "mini-stroke", said Rachid Bougherbal, the director of Algeria's National Sports Medicine Centre.

There was no cause for "any anxiety", he said, but added that the president has to rest and undergo examinations.

After the mini-stroke, Bouteflika was flown to Paris's Val de Grâce military hospital, where French and foreign VIPs are often cared for and a source told APS that he will need several days of rest.

Bouteflika was first elected in 1999 and reelected in 2004 and 2009.

He had a health scare in 2005 when he underwent surgery in Val de Grâce for a bleeding ulcer.

At the time the Algerian press questioned the decision to be flown to the capital of the former colonial power rather than the country's own military hospital, Ain-Nadjar.

Bouteflika's brothers, Mustapha and Saïd, reportedly vetted all visitors, even preventing then-foreign affairs minister Mohamed Bedjaoui from seeing the head of state, giving rise to speculation that the illness was more serious than officially claimed.

In 2011, as protests hit the country in the wake of the Arab spring, opposition leaders demanded that the president publish statements on his health, claiming that he looked "eaten away by ill-health" when he appeared in public.

The junior minister responsible for African affairs, Abdelkader Messahel, was hospitalised in Brussels on Friday for a ruptured aneurysm.

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InFocus

Algerian President Returns Home After Treatment

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, left, meets UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo).

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has been in a French hospital since suffering a stroke in April, left France to return to Algeria, a source said. Read more »