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Former Lao President, Revolutionary, Dies


Former Lao President Nouhak Phoumsavanh has died at the age of 98.

The country will hold five days of national mourning in his honor.

Mr. Nouhak was one of the founding members of the communist party that took power in 1975 when the war ended in neighboring Vietnam.

Officials say he died before midnight on Tuesday local time.

In the 1940s, Mr. Nouhak was a leading member of the resistance movement against French colonial rulers. He served as president from 1992 to 1998.

He was one of the last old guard, Vietnamese-trained communist revolutionaries.

Laos is one of the world's few remaining one-party Communist states. The impoverished, landlocked nation depends greatly on foreign aid, although it has enjoyed some growth since liberalizing its economy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.