Egyt - Former Egyptian intelligence chief and one of Hosni Mubarak's most senior officials dies after undergoing heart surgery in Cleveland (Reuters)
Egypt's former head of intelligence Omar Suleiman, one of ousted President Hosni Mubarak's most senior officials, died in the United States where he was undergoing medical tests, Suleiman's assistant told Reuters on Thursday. He was 76. Egypt's state news agency cofirmed the report.
Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sabaa reported that Suleiman died in a Cleveland hospital after undergoing heart surgery.
"He was fine. It came suddenly while he was having medical tests in Cleveland," said the aide, Hussein Kamal, without giving a reason for Suleiman's death.
The former intelligence chief stepped briefly into the limelight when he was made vice president days before Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising last year.
The gamble failed when Egyptians massed in the streets to demand Mubarak's removal rejected the political concessions offered by Suleiman to appease the protests.
A veteran confidant of Mubarak, Suleiman had headed the Egyptian General Intelligence Services (EGIS) since 1993, taking on a prominent diplomatic role in Egypt's relations with Israel, Palestinian factions and aid donor and ally the United States.
He was quietly touted as a possible successor to Mubarak although many Egyptians believed the autocratic president would serve for life or try to hand power to his son.