Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who reigned the North African country for almost 30 years and stepped down from his post following a popular revolution in 2011, breathed his last on Tuesday. He was 91.
Mubarak served as Egypt's fourth president starting in 1981 until his ouster in what became to be known as the Arab Spring revolution, Al Jazeera reported.
The Arab Spring protests convulsed autocratic regimes across the Middle East. It was a series of anti-government protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Islamic world in the early 2010s. It began in response to oppressive regimes and a low standard of living, starting with protests in Tunisia.
Post his resignation, the former leader was jailed for years after the uprising but was freed in 2017 after he was acquitted of corruption charges and abuse of power. The acquittal stunned many Egyptians, thousands of whom poured into central Cairo to show their anger against the court.
According to the state media, Mubarak died at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery.
The medical reports stated that he was suffering from health complications without divulging further details. One of his sons, Alaa, announced over the weekend that the former president was in intensive care after undergoing surgery.
Throughout his rule, Mubarak was a stalwart US ally, a bullwark against armed groups, and guardian of Egypt's peace with Israel. But to the tens of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo's central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mubarak was a relic, a latter-day pharaoh.
Born on May 4, 1928, Mubarak was vice president on October 14, 1981, when his mentor, president Anwar Sadat, was assassinated while reviewing a military parade.
Mubarak's harsh stance on security enabled him to maintain the peace treaty with Israel. Under his rule, Egypt remained a key United States ally in the region - receiving USD 1.3 billion a year in US military aid by 2011.
His overthrow led to Egypt's first free election, which brought in president Mohamed Morsi.
Morsi lasted only a year in office after mass protests in 2013 led to his overthrow by then defence chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is now the ruling President of Egypt.