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Tito's widow dies in Serbia aged 88


The widow of the former Yugoslav communist dictator Josip Broz Tito died on Sunday aged 88 after suffering heart failure, the hospital treating her said in a statement.

Jovanka Broz had been receiving treatment in a hospital in Serbia, where she spent around 30 years in isolation and poverty after her husband's death in 1980.

"Despite our efforts the patient, who was admitted here in August in a critical condition, died from heart failure at 11:45 am (0945 GMT)," a hospital statement said.

Suspected by Tito's political friends of plotting a coup, Jovanka Broz was placed under virtual house arrest a few years before her husband's death in 1980.

Broz's last public appearance was at Tito's state funeral in May 1980.

After his death she was forced to leave the former Serbian royal palace where the couple had lived in splendour.

Her identity papers were confiscated and only returned by Serbian authorities in 2009, when she was given a pension.