Egypt Coptic Pope Shenuda III dies

Cairo (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - Head of Egypt`s Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Shenuda III died on Saturday at the age of 89, state TV reported.

The Coptic Patriarch died after fighting with liver and lung problems for several years, official MENA news agency reported.

A Coptic Church TV ran a picture of the pope, with a sentence reading "may God rest him in peace between the arms of the saints, " MENA reported.

Church sources said the health condition of the pope deteriorated Saturday morning after suffering a severe heart attack. The pope`s medical team tried to recover him but he passed away.

The Coptic Orthodox Church announced a state of mourning over the pope`s death. It said the funeral prayer would be held on Tuesday at the papal headquarters in the Abbassiya district in Cairo.

Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri mourned the death of Shenuda III, describing the pope as a "national figure and a symbol of the Egyptian nationalism, who has earned a great respect from the Egyptian people," MENA reported.

The Muslim Brotherhood, presidential potential Amr Moussa and Egypt`s Mufti Ali Gomaa also mourned the pope`s death. (P012)