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French president acknowledges 'unjust' and 'brutal' colonial rule in Algeria

French President Francois Hollande has acknowledged the "unjust" and "brutal" nature of France's occupation of Algeria for 132 years, but stopped short of apologizing for the past as many Algerians have demanded.

On the second day of his state visit to this North African nation, he told the two houses of parliament on Thursday that "I recognize the suffering the colonial system has inflicted" on the Algerian people.

He specifically recognized the "massacres" by the French during the seven-year war that led to Algerian independence in 1962.

The Socialist president said at the start of his visit that he and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika are opening a "new era" with a strategic partnership among equals.