15:05 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Cambodia's Former King Dies Aged 89

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The ex-king of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk has died, local media reported on Monday.

The ex-king of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk has died, local media reported on Monday.

The former king died of natural causes while receiving treatment in China, a Cambodian government spokesman said.

Prince Sisowath Thomico, a member of the royal family who served as Sihanouk’s aide, described his death as “a great loss to Cambodia.”

Sihanouk played a crucial role in Cambodian politics for over sixty years before abdicating in 2004.

Crowned king in 1941, Sihanouk led his country on its path to independence from France, which was achieved in 1953. In 1970 he went into exile after being ousted by US-backed coup led by General Non Lol.

He returned home in 1975 following the Khmer Rouge takeover, and was detained for four years. He led an anti Khmer-Rouge government in exile until given a government appointment in 1991.

When the monarchy was restored two years later, he again became king, but stepped down in favor of one of his sons in 2004.