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US diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies after heart surgery

Veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke has died. He was 69.

He fell ill on Friday while meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Holbrooke, whose forceful style earned him nicknames such as "The Bulldozer" or "Raging Bull," was admitted to George Washington University Hospital in the nation's capital on Friday after he became ill. He had surgery Saturday to repair a torn aorta.

The hospital was referring all inquiries to the State Department, which was expected to make an announcement.

Holbrooke, a longtime US diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Hours before Holbrooke's death was announced, President Barack Obama praised the longtime diplomat.

"Richard Holbrooke has been serving this nation with distinction for nearly 50 years," Obama said.

"He is simply one of the giants of American foreign policy."

Belfast Telegraph

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