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Central Asia

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov passes away

The Uzbek authorities have officially confirmed the death of the permanent leader of the country Islam Karimov. O'zbekiston TV channel reported.

Islam Karimov died at the age of 78 of a brain attack. The Uzbek leader was hospitalized on August 28. Since then, he was in a coma. The rumors that Islam Karimov had died have been spread since August 29 but the official Tashkent confirmed them only now.

 Islam Karimov's funeral will be held on September 3 in his native Samarkand city at a cemetery near Shahi Zinda architectural complex. There are also buried his mother and two brothers. Preparations for the funeral are underway.

National flags are lowered in Uzbekistan, residents expressed on social networks condolences and words of support to the family of Islam Karimov. Many of them referred to the deceased leader as to father and grandfather and are grateful to him for the peace and stability in the country. All radio and TV channels of Tashkent broadcast mourning classical music. State TV broadcasting networks reviewed the viewing grid. According to Gazeta.uz, entertainment programs, advertising, TV series and several feature films are excluded from the broadcasting.

The new head of state will, presumably, be Shavkat Mirziyayev, who now holds the post of the Prime Minister of the republic and leads the mourning events.

Islam Karimov had been the head of Uzbekistan for almost 27 years - since 1989, when he headed the Communist Party of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. He became President in 1991. He was re-elected five times, the last time - in 2015.

 Islam Karimov was born in 1938 in Samarkand, in the family of a public servant. After graduating from two universities, he received a degree in mechanical engineering and economics. His career began in 1960 at Tashselmash plant. About five years long he has been working as an engineer and leading engineer-constructor at the Tashkent aviation association named after V. Chkalov.

In 1966, he joined the State Planning Committee of the Uzbek SSR, where he worked as chief specialist and later on- the First Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Committee of the republic.

 In 1983, Islam Karimov was appointed the Minister of Finance, and in 1986 - deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Uzbek SSR and Chairman of the State Planning Committee. In 1989, he replaced Rafik Nishanov as the first secretary of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan.

Islam Karimov is the author of several books, has a PhD in Economics. He was married, the daughters Gulnara and Lola were actively involved in social and political life of the country (as opposed to the mother - Tatiana Akbarovna). Karimov also has a son from his first marriage Peter.