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Amnesty International Accuses Algerian Authorities of Silencing Election Critics

Rabat- Amnesty International issued a media briefing on Monday accusing the Algerian authorities of silencing critics and curbing freedom of expression as the country prepares for the presidential election. Two days ahead of the Algerian presidential election that will take place on April 17th, NGO Amnesty International called on Algeria to “stop avoiding scrutiny of their human rights record” in the run-up ...

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Algeria’s six presidential candidates

ALGIERS- Campaigning kicks off on Sunday in Algeria for the April 17 presidential vote, with incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika widely  expected to clinch a fourth term. Below are short profiles of the six candidates: Abdelaziz Bouteflika Bouteflika, 77, first came to power in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004 and again in 2009 after having amended the constitution to allow him to stand  again. He is credited wit ...

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Algeria’s Bouteflika: health does not ‘disqualify’ re-election

ALGIERS- Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said Saturday his ailing health does not "disqualify" his bid to run for a fourth term in polls next month. "The difficulties linked to my health do no appear to disqualify me in your eyes," he said in a message to the Algerian people on the eve of the start of campaigning, carried by national news agency APS. Bouteflika, who is 77 and has been in office sin ...

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Two Guantanamo prisoners refuse release to Algeria

WASHINGTON- Two Algerian detainees at Guantanamo Bay are fighting efforts by US President Barack Obama's administration to transfer them to their homeland, fearing abuse, a lawyer said Friday. Attorney Robert Kirsch said he had pressed the Pentagon and State Department, along with the Algerian Embassy in Washington, to avoid the men's "imminent" repatriation set to take place as early as this weekend. Witho ...

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Algeria’s Bouteflika nominated for 4th term: party

ALGIERS- Algeria's 76-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was on Saturday designated his party's candidate in the 2014 presidential election, his National Liberation Front (FLN) said. Bouteflika, in power since 1999, had been largely unseen for months because of health problems before he presided over a cabinet meeting on September 29 for the first time this year. Since 2005 he has been honorary preside ...

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Algeria blames Morocco for diplomatic impasse

ALGIERS- Algeria's foreign minister said Sunday that Morocco had caused a diplomatic impasse over the way it responded after his country's flag was torn down from its consulate in Casablanca. "The Moroccan authorities know exactly what they need to do to get out of this impasse because they got themselves into the impasse," said Ramtane Lamamra at a news conference in Algiers.  On November 1, at a demonstra ...

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Algeria arrests dozens of Moroccans on espionage and drug-trafficking charges

Fez- In what seems to be a retaliatory reaction against Moroccans following the tension over Algeria’s statement regarding the Sahara, the Algerian authorities arrested dozens of Moroccans residing in Algeria on alleged espionage and drug-trafficking charges. The tension between Algeria and Morocco as result of what Rabat described as Algiers’s provocations of Morocco and its unconditional support of the Po ...

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Algeria announces major oil well discovery

ALGIERS- Algeria's national energy firm Sonatrach has discovered a major oil field with almost 1.3 billion barrels of deposits in the south of the country, Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi announced Saturday. The find near Amguid Messaoud is "one of the most important that Sonatrach has made in the past 20 years," he told the national news agency APS during a visit to the site.  The discovery was made 112 kilo ...

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Algeria seizes 127 tonnes of hashish in 8 months

ALGIERS - Algeria has seized more than 127 tonnes of cannabis smuggled from Morocco in the first eight months of 2013, the head of the narcotics squad announced on Wednesday.    "In total, 127,098.875 kilos of cannabis resin... were seized in the first eight months of 2013," said Mohamed Zouggar, cited by official media.    Zouggar said all the cannabis seized by the Algerian authorities came from Morocco. ...

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Moroccan Ghosts launch a cyber-attack on key Algerian institutions

Rabat- Moroccan Ghosts, a politically motivated hacker group responsible for conducting hacking attacks on several key Israeli and French websites has been reported to launch a cyber-attack of a massive scale against sensitive Algerian websites last week, according to the Moroccan daily Al Khabar. The Moroccan Ghosts have left an image of the official Moroccan map with the expression “ The Sahara is Morocca ...

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Army kills five Islamists east of Algiers: ministry

ALGIERS - Algerian troops killed five Islamist gunmen east of the capital Friday, the defence ministry said, in the latest deadly violence to rock the restive Boumerdes province this month.    The militants died in clashes that broke out at 0600 GMT in a wooded area overlooking the town of Dellys and last for about three and a half hours, El-Watan reported separately, citing local sources.    "This operatio ...

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In Algeria, Aging Bouteflika Isn’t ready to relinquish Power

Rabat - He’s 76 years old and he has been in convalescence since he suffered a minor stroke last April, for which he was transferred to a Paris hospital; he has been president of Algeria for three mandates; and, despite all that, aging Algerian President Bouteflika isn’t ready to let go of power. Under normal circumstances, and in a country with a minimum level of respect for democracy, the guy should have ...

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