November 15, 2014 / 2:32 PM / 3 years ago

Algeria's Bouteflika leaves French hospital, flies home: police

ALGIERS/PARIS (Reuters) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has left a French hospital and is on a plane flying home, a French police source said on Saturday.

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika gestures during a swearing-in ceremony in Algiers April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

A source close to the Algerian presidency said earlier Bouteflika was expected to return to Algiers on Saturday after undergoing a medical checkup in France.

Bouteflika, who suffered a stroke last year, was hospitalized in Grenoble in France on Thursday, French police and French government sources said on Friday.

A veteran of Algeria’s war against France which ended with independence in 1962, Bouteflika, 77, suffered a stroke in early 2013 and was rushed to a French hospital. He has since returned to France several times for check-ups.

Even after he was re-elected this year after a decade and a half in power, Bouteflika’s illness fueled speculation over transition in Algeria, a key energy supplier to Europe and a partner in Washington’s campaign against Islamist militants.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi in Algiers and Catherine Lagrange in Lyon; Writing by Patrick Markey and Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Jane Merriman

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