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Eritrea: FM died of heart attack, autopsy

28 August 2005, Asmara, Eritrea (iribnews) - Eritrean Foreign Minister Ali Said Abdella, one of President Issaias Afeworki's closest allies, died Sunday of a heart attack, the government announced.

Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed said that Ali Said, who was in his 50s, died at around 6:00 am (0300 GMT) in his sleep at his home in the capital.

"He died of heart attack as has been confirmed by the autopsy conducted by experts. It is a great loss to this country," said Ali Abdu, who also announced three days of mourning effective Monday when flags will be flying at half-mast.

Appointed Foreign Minister in 2002, Abdella previously held the Trade and Industry as well as Internal Affairs portfolios.

Married and the father of four children, he joined the independence struggle in the mid-1960s, and in 1977 he joined the politburo of the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF).

The tiny Horn of Africa nation on the western banks of the Red Sea got its independence from neighbouring Ethiopia in 1993, with Issaias as its first President.



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