Saddam Hussein's former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz dies at 79

Published June 5th, 2015 - 05:49 GMT
Tareq Aziz served as a foreign minister and deputy prime minister under Saddam Hussein. (AFP/File)
Tareq Aziz served as a foreign minister and deputy prime minister under Saddam Hussein. (AFP/File)

Tareq Aziz, a former senior figure in the government of Iraq's late dictator Saddam Hussein, died on Friday in a prison hospital in southern Iraq aged 79, a local Iraqi official said.

Aziz served as foreign minister and deputy prime minister until the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

"Aziz died today at the al-Hussein hospital of a heart attack," Adel Dakhil, the deputy governor of the southern Dhi Qar province said, according to the Iraqi independent broadcaster Alsumaria News.

In 2012, Iraq's Supreme Criminal Court sentenced Aziz, a Christian, to death on charges of persecuting Shiite Muslim parties when Saddam was in power. The execution was never carried out.

During his rule, Saddam, who was a Sunni, suppressed Iraq's majority Shiite community. 


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