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Conflicting Reports on Possible Death of Tunisian Leader
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi greets supporters on April 6 during a meeting of his political party in the coastal city of Monastir. (Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Conflicting Reports on Possible Death of Tunisian Leader

A Tunisian media outlet and other news organizations in the Arab world have reported that Beji Caid Essebsi, president of Tunisia, died on Thursday at the age of 92. He had been taken to a military hospital earlier in the day after what his office termed a “severe health crisis.” Nevertheless, the Reuters news agency cited an unnamed presidential adviser as saying only that he was alive but in “very critical” condition. A prominent political figure, Essebsi led Tunisia’s political transition following the Arab Spring and the ousting of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, becoming the country’s prime minister. In 2014, he was elected president. The initial news on Essebsi came at almost the same time that two suicide bombers blew themselves up in central Tunis, apparently aiming to attack police. One officer was reported killed and several people wounded in the first attack, according to Tunisia’s Interior Ministry. Shortly afterwards, the second bomb went off near a police station in another neighborhood of the country’s capital, wounding several people.

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