Former Iraqi deputy PM, Tariq Aziz, who served under Saddam Hussein, dies in prison

Baghdad: Former deputy prime minister of Iraq, Tariq Aziz, who served in Saddam Hussein's regime, died on Friday after suffering a heart attack in prison, an Iraqi official said. "The authorities of Nasriyah prison admitted the prisoner Tariq Aziz to al-Hussein hospital in the city of Nasriyah, some 375 km south of Baghdad, after he suffered from heart attack.

He was announced dead on Friday afternoon," Adel Dekhil, deputy to the Nasriyah provincial governor, said in a press release, Xinhua reported. Aziz had repeatedly been admitted to hospital because he was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, Dekhil said, adding that his body will be delivered to his family later.

Aziz, 79, was the only Christian in Saddam's regime. He was known as a fierce American critic after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent 1990-1991 Gulf War. Aziz surrendered to the US troops in his house without resistance on April 24, 2003, shortly after the fall of Baghdad.

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