Omar Suleiman, Egypt's former spy chief, dies in US


Former Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman enters the presidential election committee building in Cairo on April 7, 2012 to register his name for the upcoming presidential elections on May 23-24. Suleiman, a pillar of the ousted regime, decided to run for candidacy, in a surprise twist to a contest to elect Hosni Mubarak's successor, after hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Cairo's Abbassiya Square on April, 6 urging him to contest the poll.



Omar Suleiman, Egypt's former head of intelligence and a once-powerful figure close to deposed leader Hosni Mubarak, passed away today in a hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, reported Reuters.

Suleiman aide and a senior security official Hussein Kamal told Reuters that his death during medical tests "came suddenly," but did not elaborate further. 

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Egypt's MENA news agency said the 76-year-old died in the early morning hours today, according to BBC News

His body will be flown to Egypt for burial, said BBC

Mubarak appointed Suleiman vice president in the heady days leading up to the former president's February overthrow by popular protest. Suleiman's attempts to appease angry protesters during the period largely failed, reported Reuters.

He was named head of the powerful Egyptian General Intelligence Services in 1993, a role that saw him heavily involved in Egypt's foreign relations, according to Reuters

After Mubarak's ousting, Suleiman attempted to run for president in the country's recent vote but was unable to secure the number of signatures required, said Reuters.