WORLD Algeria announces 7-day mourning over death of army chief

WORLD

Algeria announces 7-day mourning over death of army chief

Xinhua

22:17, December 23, 2019

ALGIERS, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- Algerian army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah died of a heart attack on Monday, a statement of the presidency was quoted as saying by the APS news agency.

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In this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, Algerian military chief Gaid Salah attends president Abdelmajid Tebboune's inauguration ceremony in the presidential palace, in Algiers, Algeria. (File photo by AP)

In this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, Algerian military chief Gaid Salah attends president Abdelmajid Tebboune's inauguration ceremony in the presidential palace, in Algiers, Algeria

Newly-elected president Abdelmadjid Tebboune appointed current Ground Forces Commander Said Chengriha as the interim army chief of staff, the report said.

Tebboune further announced a seven-day mourning in memory of late Gaid Salah, with national flags to fly at half mast, the source added.

Gaid Salah was hit by a heart attack in his house early in the morning and was rushed to a military hospital in Algiers where he succumbed at the age of 80.

Gaid Salah was a key element in the changes occurred recently in Algeria. He forced former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down over public protest demand, and called up justice to launch a wide scale anti-corruption operation sending some high ranked officials to prison.

Gaid Salah called for sticking to the constitutional path and insisted on organizing a presidential election to avoid constitutional vacuum.

He served as the commander of the Ground Forces from 1994 to 2004, and then promoted as the army chief of staff.

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