14:50 GMT +316 October 2019
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    FILE - In this Oct.11, 2009 file photo, then Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali waves from his car as he arrives at campaign rally in Rades, outside Tunis. A lawyer for the former Tunisian president ousted in the 2011 Arab Spring says Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been hospitalized in Saudi Arabia

    Tunisian ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Dies at 83

    © REUTERS / Hassene Dridi
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    Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, commonly known as Ben Ali was a long-serving Tunisian president between 1987 and 2011 when he was ousted as a result of a coup.

    Former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali passed away on Thursday after suffering a health crisis, Tunisia's foreign ministry told AFP news agency.

    "We had confirmation of his death 30 minutes ago," the ministry said, without giving further details.

    The former president's lawyer has confirmed the news as well, citing Ben Ali's doctor and family members.

    Earlier this month, reports appeared saying that the ex-president had been hospitalised in Riyadh and was in critical condition.

    Following the 2011 coup, Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia with his wife and three children, while the interim Tunisian government asked Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant. In 2012 and 2013, a Tunisian court and a military court sentenced him to life imprisonment both. In 2011, a court ruled to sentence his wife to 35 years in absentia.

    death, exile, Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, Tunisia
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