Algeria sends students home early amid Bouteflika protests

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Media captionAlgeria protesters chant: “Peaceful! Peaceful!”

Algeria’s education ministry has ordered an early start to university holidays amid huge protests against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Originally scheduled to run from 21 March to 5 April, the spring break now starts on 10 March and ends on 4 April.

The ministry gave no reason for the move.

Students have been heavily involved in mass protests against the ailing leader, which began last month after he announced he would seek a fifth term.

Mr Bouteflika, 82, who is currently in hospital in Switzerland, has ruled Algeria for 20 years but has rarely been seen in public since he had a stroke in 2013.

He has said the protests could plunge the country into “chaos”.

Teachers and their students have gone on strike at several universities, while others…

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