- Title: Thousands of Algerians gather for army chief's funeral
- Date: 25th December 2019
- Summary: ALGIERS, ALGERIA (DECEMBER 25, 2019) (REUTERS) MAN HOLDING PHOTOGRAPH OF ALGERIA MILITARY CHIEF LIEUTENANT GENERAL, AHMED GAED SALAH MOURNERS HOLDING ALGERIAN FLAG VARIOUS OF PEOPLE ON STREET WAITING FOR SALAH'S COFFIN TO PASS BY MAN HOLDING SIGN READING (Arabic/English): "HERE'S THE VOICE OF THE REAL PEOPLE" (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED ALGERIAN MOURNER, SAYING: "He lived as a leader and died as man. God rest his soul." VARIOUS OF VEHICLE CARRYING COFFIN OF ALGERIA MILITARY CHIEF LIEUTENANT GENERAL, AHMED GAED SALAH CROWDS AND TRAFFIC IN THE STREET
- Embargoed: 8th January 2020 15:46
- Keywords: Algeria Protest Salah funeral mourning
- Location: ALGIERS, ALGERIA
- City: ALGIERS, ALGERIA
- Country: Algeria
- Topics: Defence,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BBH4S3R
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands of Algerians gathered on Wednesday (December 25) for the funeral procession of the country's powerful army chief, who fought for independence from France as a young man and this year became the country's de facto leader.
Lieutenant general Ahmed Gaed Salah died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday (December 23) aged 79, having determined the secretive state's response to mass protests throughout this year calling for a wholesale change of the ruling elite.
As the protests reached their peak in April, Gaed Salah called for the veteran president, his long time ally Abdelaziz Bouteflika, to step down, prompting his resignation soon after.
Although an interim president was appointed, Gaed Salah was widely seen as holding the reins. He did not attempt to crush the peaceful protests with violence, but many demonstrators saw him as the main obstacle in their path.
He pushed for an election to replace Bouteflika, a vote the protesters regarded as a charade as the real power would remain with the army.
(Production: Ramzi Boudina, Mostafa Salem)
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