Iraqi former President Jalal Talabani dead

Lester Mason
October 3, 2017

Iraqi Kurdish leader and ex-Iraqi president Jalal Talabani died on Tuesday at age 83, Iraqi state TV said, a week after Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region held a referendum on independence.

He lived in Sulaymaniyah, a stronghold of his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the main rival of Kurdish President Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

Talabani was taken to an intense care unit after suffering from a stroke and was reported to be in coma on December 18, 2012.

He was the first non-Arab president of Iraq, elected in 2005, two years after the US-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. He was a law school graduate.


Talbani's death was also reported by Iraqi state television and by Kurdish broadcaster Rudaw.

He won a second term as President the following year and was re-elected in 2010. The referendum and its result has angered Iraqi Kurdistan's neighbours in Turkey, Iran and Baghdad, who fear their own Kurdish communities will demand self-rule.

"Kurdistan in this juncture needed more than before his wisdom and excellent cooperation with President Barzani to lead the post-referendum process".

Talabani was born in a village near Sulaimaniya.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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