Algeria says stricken president needs more rest

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — The Algerian government has broken its long silence about the health of its hospitalized president to say his condition is "improving" but he still needs rest.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 76, suffered a mini-stroke on April 27, and he was flown to the French military hospital of Val de Grace.

After the initial announcement there were few updates about the president's health, leading to rampant speculation in Algeria's rowdy press.

Tuesday's statement gave no indication of how long the ailing president would need to rest from the brief blockage of a cerebral artery.

Though Bouteflika had long been known to be sick, he was widely believed to be gearing up for a fourth mandate in next year's presidential elections.

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