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Ex-Khmer Rouge Leader Ieng Sary Dead at 87

Cambodia's United Nations-backed war crimes tribunal says Ieng Sary, a former top official in the brutal Khmer Rouge movement, has died while on trial for genocide and war crimes.

A tribunal spokesperson said Ieng Sary died Thursday morning after being hospitalized since March 4. The cause of death is unknown.

Ieng Sary, the brother-in-law of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, was accused of orchestrating Cambodia's "killing fields" in the 1970s, leading to the deaths of up to two million people. He was a former foreign minister in the communist regime.

At 87, he was the oldest of three Khmer Rouge leaders standing trial at the tribunal. Khieu Samphan, an ex-president of the Khmer Rouge, and Nuon Chea, chief ideologue for the communist movement, all denied committing atrocities. Pol Pot died in 1998.

Ieng Sary's wife, ex-social affairs minister Ieng Thirith, has been ruled unfit to stand trial because of a degenerative mental illness.

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