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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Algerian army chief steps down
General Mohamed Lamari
General Lamari played a key role in the fight against Islamist rebels
The powerful head of Algeria's army has resigned - officially for health reasons.

A BBC correspondent in Algiers says that General Mohamed Lamari has been involved in a power-struggle with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

The army has been fighting Islamist rebels since 1992, when it seized power as a radical Muslim party was on the verge of winning elections.

General Lamari reportedly opposed Mr Bouteflika's policy of reconciliation.

But in elections earlier this year, the army pledged for the first time to remain politically neutral.

Mr Bouteflika has named General Salah Ahmed Gaid, commander of ground forces, to replace General Lamari as military chief of staff, a statement from the president's office said.

Some 150,000 people have been killed in the civil war, although the scale of the violence has reduced since late last year.


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