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Zillur Rahman, Bangladesh president, dead

The president of Bangladesh has died at a hospital in Singapore.

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Zillur Rahman in East Germany (1973) (Bartocha, Benno /Wikimedia commons)

Zillur Rahman, the 85-year-old president of Bangladesh, has died in Singapore, according to breaking reports.

Online newspaper BDNews24.com said the president's secretary confirmed the news. Rahman had been undergoing treatment for a respiratory infection, as well as kidney problems.

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"He breathed his last at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore at 4:47pm Bangladesh time on Wednesday," the outlet wrote — 6:47 PM Singapore time.

His son, daughters, and close relatives were present at his bedside when he died, noted the Times of India.

The BBC noted that Rahman was elected by the Bangladeshi parliament to the "largely ceremonial" role in 2009, and was a long-time supporter of the Awami League, which currently holds power.

Rahman was the 19th president of Bangladesh, and was a close friend of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, widely credited as the founder of the nation, wrote the Times of India.

The Times reports that Rahman had been undergoing treatment in Singapore since March 10th, when he was rushed to the facility from Dhaka to be treated for a "critical lung infection."

"The acting president announced the three-day state mourning for the death of President Zillur Rahman," according to a presidential spokesman speaking to Outlook India, which added that parliamentary speaker Abdul Hamid was made acting president on March 14th, as Rahman's condition worsened.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/bangladesh/130320/zillur-rahman-bangladesh-president-dead-singapore