Monday, October 15, 2012

Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk dies at 89 in Beijing

Cambodian students hold portraits of former King Norodom Sihanouk during an Independence Day celebration at the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on November 9, 2011. (File photo)

Source: Press TV

Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk, has died at the age of 89 in China, where he was receiving medical treatment, according to an announcement on national television.

Cambodian government spokesman Khieu Kanharith made the announcement on Monday, saying King Norodom Sihanouk, a widely respected figure through decades of turmoil, died of natural causes at a Beijing hospital, AFP reported.

Prince Sisowath Thomico, a royal family member who was also Sihanouk’s assistant, said the monarch suffered a heart attack at the hospital.

Sihanouk was monarch for more than 60 years until 2004, when he abdicated the throne in favor of his son Norodom Sihamoni.

Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen are to fly to Beijing on Monday to collect Sihanouk's body for a traditional funeral.

The ex-monarch had been a frequent visitor to China, where he received medical treatment for cancer and diabetes, among other ailments.

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