September 13, 2015 / 1:44 PM / in 4 years

Algeria's Bouteflika replaces head of DRS military intelligence: sources

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has replaced the long-standing head of the country’s military intelligence agency, in his latest move to curb the spy chief’s influence in politics, two security sources said on Sunday.

Analysts said Mohamed Mediene, chief of the DRS intelligence service, had long played the role of political kingmaker by seeking to influence leadership choices in Algeria’s behind-the-scenes power struggles.

Bouteflika began easing the military and its DRS intelligence wing out of the political sphere before his re-election last April, analysts said, in preparation for his eventual departure after more than 15 years in power.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Catherine Evans

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