Uzbek President Islam Karimov dies at 78 after suffering stroke

Tashkent (ANTARA News/Xinhua) -- Uzbek President Islam Karimov died on Friday at the age of 78 after being hospitalized following a stroke on Aug. 27, the Uzbek government confirmed.

His funeral will be held on Saturday in the historic town of Samarkand, where he was born, a government statement said, adding that a three-day period of mourning would start on the same day.

Karimov, who had served as president of the newly independent republic since 1991, suffered a brain hemorrhage on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Uzbek government informed on its website that the late leader was taken to hospital for the need of a full medical examination.

On Monday, Karimovs daughter Lola Karimova-Tillyayeva, confirmed on her Facebook page that her father has been hospitalized and asked people to pray for his health.

Earlier on Friday, the government said on its website that the situation of Karimov had worsened and he was in a critical condition.(*)