The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria became independent in 1962 after a bitter struggle with its former colonizer France that claimed more than a million lives according to official Algerian figures (more conservative figures put the death toll at 350-400,000).
In 1991, conflict broke out again after elections, which the Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win, were cancelled.
The brutal civil war claimed between 150,000 and 200,000 lives.
It ended a decade later thanks largely to a new law giving amnesty to most guerillas.
The current president is Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was elected in 1999 and reelected in 2004.
Algeria’s literacy rate is around 70 percent .
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