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Algeria Arrests

Algeria arrests Said Bouteflika and two former intelligence chiefs

People carry a mock hangman with the faces of Algerian businessman Ali Haddad, former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia, and Said Bouteflika in Algiers, Algeria
People carry a mock hangman with the faces of Algerian businessman Ali Haddad, former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia, and Said Bouteflika in Algiers, Algeria REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

Algerian police have arrested Said Bouteflika, the youngest brother of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and two former intelligence chiefs. This was confirmed by Algerian television station Ennahar TV.

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Said Bouteflika was seen as Algeria’s de facto ruler since his brother suffered a stroke in 2013 that left him wheelchair-bound.

The youngest brother had served as a top advisor to the presidency for more than a decade.

Generals Bachir Athimane Tartag and Mohamed Mediene both served as intelligence officers under Boutflika’s government.

The former president agreed to step down on 2 April after demonstrators held ongoing protests since February demanding he not run for this year’s elections.

Since then, an interim government headed by Abdelkader Bensalah, the former President of the Council of the Nation, has presided over the country until elections are due to be held on 4 July.

As a result of Said's strong links to the Bouteflika government, protesters continue to demand that he too step down.

They have also been consistently demanding that “The three Bs” must not be involved in any of the evolutions of the new government.

That means Bensalah, Nourredine Bedoui and Tayeb Belaiz must not have any role in the transitional government.

The chief of army staff, Ahmed Gaed Salah had promised to rid the country of corrupt politicians, oligarchs and military officials, in an effort to restore confidence and order among the people.

Saturday’s arrests appear to be an effort to appease the protesters.

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