01:27 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Abdelaziz Bouteflika

    Algerian President in Swiss Hospital Amid Student Protests - Reports

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    Earlier, thousands of students gathered in the country's capital and university campuses across the country to protest 81-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term in office despite reported ill-health ahead of elections in April.

    Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is being treated at the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG), where he has been held since Sunday, the Tribune de Geneve newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing what AFP said were "multiple and well-informed sources."

    The president's office earlier announced his plans to travel to the European country for "routine medical checks."

    According to Swiss media, the octogenarian president has received medical care in Switzerland since the 1980s. 

    President Bouteflika suffered a stroke in 2013 and spent several weeks at a French hospital. The veteran politician has been in power since 1991, and served as the country's defence minister and foreign minister in previous administrations going back to the 1960s.

    In 2002, Bouteflika presided over the end of the Algerian civil war between the government a coalition of Islamist militants. In recent years, terrorist groups have reportedly resumed their activities, waging low-intensity warfare against Algerian defence forces.

    On Tuesday, thousands of students rallied across Algeria to protest Bouteflika's bid for a fifth term in office, demonstrating at university campuses across the country and in the capital Algiers.

    Algerians are set to go to the polls on 18 April. The opposition remains split despite earlier efforts to field a single candidate to challenge Bouteflika.

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