Saddam Hussein’s deputy, Tariq Aziz dies in prison

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According to reports, Tariq Aziz, better known to the world as the face of Saddam Hussein’s regime for many years, has died in an Iraqi prison, officials say.

Aziz, 79, was not only the foreign minister and deputy prime minister and was a close adviser to the former leader.

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Sentenced to death by the Iraqi Supreme Court in 2010 for the persecution of religious parties under Saddam’s rule, Aziz was never executed. He surrendered to US troops in 2003 shortly after the fall of Baghdad.

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Aziz, who was known for his black-rimmed glasses and love of cigars, first came to prominence while serving as foreign minister during the first Gulf War in 1991.

Though he was not considered a member of Saddam Hussein’s core political circle for being a Christian in a mainly Sunni Muslim government, but he played a key role before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, and had even met Pope John Paul II in the Vatican to call for peace in the region.

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