Former Indonesia President Suharto dead

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Singapore, Jan 27: Former Indonesia president Suharto died this afternoon after being hospitalised for 23 days since January 4.

Haji Muhammad Suharto, 86, died of various illness and organ failures at 1310 hrs, the Indonesian national news agency Antara reported. The former General seized power in an abortive coup in 1965, ousting the country's first president Sukarno, and killing some 500,000 people in anti-communist purge in the following months. Suharto was blamed for a high-level of corruption, and allowing his family members to built multi-billion dollar worth of businesses during his 32 year rule.

The former strongman was forced to step down in 1998 amid deadly riots and mass pro-democracy protests that were sparked by the 1997 Asian economic crisis, which virtually bankrupt Indonesia.


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