ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) _ Algeria's military-backed government, which has hinted it will disassemble the Islamic Salvation Front's network of mosques, appointed a cleric to one leading fundamentalist mosque, newspapers reported Thursday.

But the fundamentalist Salvation Front said there had been no official notification of a change at the Es Sunna mosque.

The front's ''free mosques'' are outside the control of the Religious Affairs Ministry. Replacing Salvation Front imams, or clerics, would be the latest in a series of moves to clamp down on the organization, which has seen its activities nearly frozen in the two weeks since the High State Committee came to power Jan. 16.

The Salvation Front swept first-round parliamentary elections Dec. 26, but the runoff votes were canceled by a military-backed group that installed the High State Committee in power.

The army has arrested dozens of Salvation Front members and sympathizers, over the past two weeks, as well as sympathetic imams and a half-dozen journalists.