Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has suffered a mini-stroke and has been flown to hospital in Paris, the state news agency said.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 76, had a “transient ischemia” – a temporary blockage of a blood vessel often called a mini-stroke – an official told the APS news agency.
But he said there was “no reason for worry” about the president.
The agency said Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who makes few public appearances – was undergoing tests in Paris.
The Algerian leader is reported to be at the Val de Grace military hospital, commonly used by high-profile patients from France and beyond.
“An initial investigation has already been opened and his Excellency the president of the republic must observe a period of rest to undergo tests,” Rachid Bougherbal, the director of the National Sports Medicine Centre, was quoted as saying by APS.
PM Abdelmalek Sellal echoed Rachid Bourgherbal’s assurances that there was no need for concern.
But the fact that he has been sent to Paris has prompted questions about the accuracy of the official account, correspondents say.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika underwent surgery in hospital in Paris several years ago. Officially the problem was a stomach ulcer, but a leaked US diplomatic cable suggested he had cancer.
In spite of his age and apparently failing health, there are still those who believe Abdelaziz Bouteflika could stand for a fourth term in office in elections scheduled for next year.
Abdelaziz Bouteflika is part of an ageing leadership which has dominated Algerian politics since the country gained independence from France more than 50 years ago.