Mahmoud Jibril, the former head of the Libyan rebel government who ousted longtime leader Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2011, died of coronavirus, his party said.
Jibril, 68, died on Sunday in Cairo where he was hospitalized for two weeks, said Khaled al-Mrimi, secretary of the Alliance of National Forces, founded by Jibril in 2012.
He had been admitted to the Ganzouri Specialty Hospital in Cairo on March 21 after suffering a cardiac arrest and three days later he had tested positive for the coronavirus, said hospital director Hisham Wagdy.
“It started … recovering the day before yesterday but has started to deteriorate again,” Wagdy told AFP news agency, confirming that Jibril died at 2 p.m. local time.
He was an economic advisor to the Gaddafi government in his last years, before joining the revolution in 2011.
Jibril led the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), the interim government during the NATO-supported rebellion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi.
At the start of the Libyan uprising, Jibril made several trips abroad to rally European and American support for the rebels against Gaddafi.
He was interim chief until the country held its first free elections in four decades in 2012.
Jibril ran for office and his party won the vote but failed to secure a majority in Parliament, which chose an independent candidate to become Prime Minister.
Amidst the chaos and violence that erupted in the following years, Jibril left Libya to live abroad.
Before Jibril’s death, the internationally recognized Libyan government in Tripoli had confirmed 18 cases of coronavirus in the country and one death.
Wagdy, the director of the Cairo hospital, said that Jibril was unconscious and unconscious during his stay in the hospital’s intensive care unit, where he had been quarantined since his admission.
Mrimi said Jibril appeared to be in stable condition for the past few days “and is even preparing to leave the hospital” before his condition deteriorates again.