Algerian generals released


Algeria President Abdelaziz Bouteflika released five senior generals detained last month on charges of wrongdoing, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The generals included three regional commanders sacked as part of a sweep by Bouteflika who dismissed about a dozen generals this year, cementing his grip on power and easing the influence of the once dominant military.

Observers said the release was a gesture by Bouteflika to improve relations with the military ahead of a presidential election due in April, 2019.

The five generals are still being investigated, the source said. They were released from Blida military prison after being arrested on October 14.

Bouteflika (81) has not yet said whether he will heed calls by the ruling party to run for a fifth term next year. He would be expected to win as Algeria’s opposition remains fragmented.