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Former Lebanese PM Karami Dies at 80

FILE - Lebanon's pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami speaks during a news conference moments before he announced his resignation in Beirut, April 2005.

Lebanon's state news agency reports former Prime Minister Omar Karami has died after suffering from an illness.

A spokesperson for the agency says the 80-year-old Karami died Thursday at a hospital in Beirut where he had been undergoing treatment.

Karami served twice as Lebanon's prime minister.

He held the post from 1990 to 1992 when he was forced to resign after massive protests triggered by the collapse of the Lebanese pound and economy. His second term began in 2004, but he was again forced to resign in 2005 after mass protests following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Hariri's death sparked a political controversy in Lebanon, including accusations that Syria's government was involved in the murder. Karami was a long-time ally of the Syrian regime.