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Algeria intelligence chief quits amid continuing protests Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Algeria intelligence chief quits amid continuing protests

Former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika appointed Tartag to the role in 2015 [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2019

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The head of Algeria's military intelligence has resigned days after the country's long-time president stepped down after weeks protests against his rule.

The head of Algeria's military intelligence has resigned days after the country's long-time president stepped down after weeks protests against his rule.

A government source told The New Arab's Arabic-language service on Friday that Bachir Tartag has resigned and handed over his duties to the head of the military.

Former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika appointed Tartag to the role in 2015, replacing the powerful General Mohamed Mediene, better known as General Toufik, who had held the role for 25 years.

The move was seen at the time as aimed at sealing Bouteflika's full control over the shadowy Algerian security services.

Meanwhile, Algerians gathered on Friday for the first mass protests since the resignation of ailing Bouteflika, in a key test of whether the momentum for reform can be maintained.

Opponents of the old regime have called for a massive turnout, targeting three senior officials they dub the "3B" - Abdelakder Bensalah, Tayeb Belaiz and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

The veteran Bouteflika loyalists have been entrusted with overseeing the political transition after the veteran leader finally stepped down at the age of 82.

Bouteflika resigned late on Tuesday after weeks of demonstrations triggered by his bid for a fifth term in office.

He had lost the backing of key supporters including armed forces chief Ahmed Gaid Salah.

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