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Omar Suleiman, the long-time intelligence chief of Hosni Mubark who became his vice-president shortly before they were both ousted from power, has died while undergoing medical treatment in the United States. Suleiman had been of the most trusted confidants in the Mubarak regime, known for keeping the Egyptian government's most important military and political secrets, while also helping to brutally suppress its opponents.

During the Tahrir Square uprising last year, Mubarak appointed Suleiman to be his vice-president in a last-ditch effort to appease protesters by giving off the appearance of concessions through changes to his top staff. It failed to stop the protests and both men stepped down shortly after. Suleiman later attempted to run in Egypt's first open presidential election — and might have won — but was disqualified for not following the ballot rules. While popular in some circles, he led crackdowns against opposition parties like the Muslim Brotherhood and was also accused of torturing both his own political opponents and terrorism suspects sent to him through the CIA's rendition program.

No cause of death was given, but an aide said the 76-year-old was in good health and that his death came suddenly while undergoing tests at a Cleveland hospital. His body will be returned to Egypt for burial.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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