Egyptian state TV has said the country’s former president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, has died at the age of 91.
Mr Mubarak, who was in power for almost three decades, was forced to resign on February 11 2011 following 18 days of protests around the country.
The Arab Spring uprisings convulsed autocratic regimes across the Middle East.
Throughout his rule, Mr Mubarak was a stalwart US ally, a bulwark against Islamic militancy and guardian of Egypt’s peace with Israel.
But to the tens of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mr Mubarak was a relic, a latter-day pharaoh.
They were inspired by the Tunisian revolt, and harnessed the power of social media to unleash popular anger over the brutality that shadowed his rule.
In the end, with millions of people massed in Tahrir Square and city centres around the country and even marching to the doorstep of Mr Mubarak’s palace, the military that long nurtured him pushed him aside on February 11 2011.
The generals took power, hoping to preserve what they could of the system he led.
State TV said Mr Mubarak died at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery. The report said he had health complications but offered no other details.
Though Tunisia’s president fell before him, the removal of Mr Mubarak was the more stunning collapse in the face of the Arab Spring shaking regimes across the Arab world.
He became the only leader so far ousted in the protest wave to be imprisoned.
He was convicted along with his former security chief on June 2012 and sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the killing of some 900 protesters in 2011. Both appealed the verdict and a higher court later cleared them in 2014.
The acquittal stunned many Egyptians, thousands of whom poured into central Cairo to show their anger against the court.
The following year, Mr Mubarak and his two sons – wealthy businessman Alaa and Mr Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal – were sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges during a retrial.
The brothers were released in 2015 for time served, while Mr Mubarak walked free in 2017.
Since his arrest in April 2011, Mr Mubarak has spent nearly six years of his time in jail in hospitals. Following his release, he was taken to an apartment in Cairo’s Heliopolis district.
For a man who was long thought to be untouchable – even a word of criticism against him in the media was forbidden for much of his rule – prison was a shock.
When he was flown from the court to Torah Prison in Cairo in 2011, he cried in protest and refused to get out of the helicopter.