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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Algeria leader in French hospital
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, left, walks through Algiers
The president was given a huge welcome after returning from surgery last year
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has flown to France for a medical check-up, officials have confirmed.

The 69-year-old was admitted to the same military hospital in Paris where he underwent surgery for a stomach ulcer late last year.

At the time, Mr Bouteflika spent five weeks in the Val de Grace hospital.

A French politician revealed news of the return, angry over recent comments made by Mr Bouteflika comparing colonial rule in Algeria to genocide.

Far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen said it was "scandalous" that Mr Bouteflika was being treated in France after his critical comments.

"Colonisation brought the genocide of our identity, of our history, of our language, of our traditions," Mr Bouteflika said on Algerian television on Monday.

Tensions rose last year, after France passed a law requiring textbooks to show the role the country played in its former colonies in a positive manner.

"I find it unfathomable that this gentleman comes to be treated by us terrible colonialists, " Mr Le Pen told RMC radio.

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