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Leader’s stroke stirs Algeria politics

ALGIERS — The ministroke suffered by Algeria’s president has cast fresh doubt on his perceived ambition to run for a fourth term next year as leader of one of Africa’s largest and richest countries.

The possibility that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 76, could step down could affect the stability of this key US ally in the fight against terror but might also open up its long-stagnant politics.

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Bouteflika on Saturday had a brief blockage of a cerebral blood vessel known as a transient ischemic attack, which authorities said he quickly recovered from and had no lasting complications. He was sent to a military hospital in Paris for tests, however, and ­remained there Sunday night.

Algeria’s state news agency has been uncommonly open about the president’s latest health problem but insisted he will be back to work soon.

‘‘He has not had any lasting damage and no motor or sensory function has been impaired,’’ Rachid Bougherbal, director of the Institute of Sports Medicine, told the state news agency.

Such ministrokes’ symptoms include confusion and disorientation. They are brief but can recur. In a third of the cases, a full stroke can happen within a year, according to the American Stroke Association.

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