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Algerian media group says CEO kidnapped, freed within hours

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Algerian media company alleged Thursday that its chief executive was kidnapped by security forces and released after several hours after he made televised remarks accusing the president's brother of corruption.

The Echourouk Group television station said CEO Ali Fodhil "was released on orders of the prosecutor after being kidnapped this morning." outside his house as he left for work.

The station reported that Fodhil was abducted as he left home for work in the morning and freed in the mid-afternoon.

Earlier Thursday, the TV station tied the episode to Fodhil's allegation this week that "extraconstitutional forces" run Algeria and the president's younger brother, Said Bouteflika, was "head of the gang."

Corruption has long been considered widespread in the North African country, but the president's critics allege it has grown during Bouteflika's two decades in power.

It's among the chief complaints of protesters who have been demanding that Bouteflika step down.

Massive protests started last month and have thrown Algeria into an unprecedented political crisis.

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