Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, who ruled until Arab Spring, dead at 91
Egypt's former leader, Hosni Mubarak, has died aged 91, according to media reports citing his family. The controversial president ruled Egypt for three decades before being jailed on corruption charges.
Mubarak died several weeks after undergoing surgery, Egyptian media reported. A family member told AFP that the former ruler died at Cairo's Galaa military hospital.
In a statement, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi hailed Mubarak as a "military leader and war hero" and offered his condolences to his family. Mubarak will receive a military funeral, but the time of his burial is still not clear, according to Egyptian sources that spoke with Reuters.
The former president was detained after the 2011 'Arab Spring' uprising in Egypt, and received a three-year prison sentence in 2015 for using public funds to live a lavish lifestyle. The former president, who assumed power in 1981 before being forced out of office 30 years later, was released from prison in 2017.
The Egyptian strongman faced years in prison, but his early release came after he was acquitted of charges that he had ordered the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising.
His reign was viewed by many Egyptians as an era marred by corruption and autocracy. However, he is widely credited with maintaining peace between Egypt and Israel, despite his country's uneasy history with the Jewish state.
Around 240 demonstrators were killed during the tumultuous 18-day revolt against Mubarak's government. The mass protests continued for months after Mubarak stepped down in 2011. The Egyptian leader had initially received a life sentence in 2012 for his alleged role in the violence against the Arab Spring protesters, but that conviction was overturned by an appeals court.
Mubarak used his success in the military to propel his political career. He joined the Egyptian air force in 1949 and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming chief of the Egyptian air force in 1972. Mubarak was hailed as a hero after the Egyptian air force reportedly dealt mass casualties to Israeli forces during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
Although Washington applauded his removal in 2011, for many years he was a trusted ally of the United States. He received more than $1 billion in US military aid the same year that he was deposed.
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