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Algeria's ailing president returns home after France medical trip

Bouteflika has been suffering ill health since a stroke in 2013 [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 November, 2016

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Algeria's veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika has returned to Algiers after undergoing medical checks in Europe.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned home on Tuesday afted a trip to France where he underwent medical checks, his office said.

Bouteflika suffered a stroke in 2013, weakening his mobility and forcing him to work from his residence in Zeralda, west of Algiers.

The 79-year-old flew to the south-eastern French city of Grenoble on 7 November, and returned to Algiers on Tuesday "at the end of a private visit during which he undertook periodic medical checks", the presidency said.

The statement, carried by the APS news agency, gave no further details about the results of the medical examinations.

In April this year, Bouteflika also underwent "routine medical checks" in Switzerland, the APS news agency reported at the time, again citing a presidency statement.

There are regular rumours in Algeria about the state of the president's health, with opposition leaders quick to evoke the idea of a "power vacuum".

Bouteflika has led Algeria for the past 17 years.

In 2014, his decision to seek a fourth mandate sparked criticism from those who questioned his ability to rule.

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