Reports say Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has resigned after weeks of mass protests.

Mr Bouteflika, who has been in power for 20 years, had already dropped plans to seek a 5th term as opposition to his rule grew.

The powerful Algerian army had called for the 82-year-old to be declared incapable of carrying out his duties.

The ailing leader suffered a stroke six years ago and has rarely appeared in public since.

Car horns could be heard in the streets of the capital, Algiers, as hundreds celebrated the announcement.

People waved Algeria’s national flags and sang.

News of the resignation came in a statement carried on state news agency APS.

“The president of the republic, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, has officially notified the president of the constitutional council of his decision to end his mandate as president of the republic,” it said.

State TV then reported that this would be with immediate effect.

According to the constitution, the Senate speaker should take over as interim head of state until fresh elections are held.

Pressure had been building since February, when the first demonstrations were sparked by Mr Bouteflika’s announcement that he would be standing for a 5th term.

Tens of thousands protested across the country on 1 March. Mr Bouteflika’s promise not to serve out a fifth term if re-elected, along with a change of prime minister, failed to quell the discontent.

Leaders of the protests also rejected Mr Bouteflika’s offer this week that he would go by the end of his current term – 28 April – as not quick enough.

-BBC