Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak dies aged 91, reports state media

Hosni Mubarak Credit: AP

Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has died aged 91, state media has announced.

Mr Mubarak, who was in power for almost three decades before he was ousted in the 2011 Arab Spring, resigned following protests around the country.

The Arab Spring uprising swept across the region last decade, taking with it autocratic regimes.

Mr Mubarak was a stalwart American ally throughout his reign and was firmly against Islamic militancy in the region, helping to build ties with Israel.

Mubarak was jailed following his removal from power in 2011 (AP) Credit: Uncredited

However tens of thousands of Egyptians rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square and across the country, calling for his resignation.

They were inspired by the Tunisian revolt and harnessed the power of social media to organise and overthrow the regimes.

In the end, with millions of people massed in Tahrir Square and city centres around the country and even marching to the doorstep of Mr Mubarak’s palace, the military that long nurtured him pushed him aside on February 11 2011.

The generals took power, hoping to preserve what they could of the system he led.

State television in Egypt reported he had died at Cairo hospital, where he had undergone an unspecified surgery.

The report said there had been health complications but offered no further detail.

Mubarak was in power for three decades (AP) Credit: MISHA JAPARIDZE

Although Tunisia's president fell before him, Mr Mubarak's removal from power sent deeper shockwaves throughout the Arab world.

He also became the only leader so far imprisoned following the protests.

He was convicted along with his former security chief on June 2012 and sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the killing of some 900 protesters in 2011. Both appealed the verdict and a higher court later cleared them in 2014.

The acquittal stunned many Egyptians, thousands of whom poured into central Cairo to show their anger against the court.

The following year, Mr Mubarak and his two sons – wealthy businessman Alaa and Mr Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal – were sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges during a retrial.

The brothers were released in 2015 for time served, while Mr Mubarak walked free in 2017.

Since his arrest in April 2011, Mr Mubarak has spent nearly six years of his time in jail and hospitals. Following his release, he was taken to an apartment in Cairo’s Heliopolis district.

For a man who was long thought to be untouchable – even a word of criticism against him in the media was forbidden for much of his rule – prison was a shock.

When he was flown from the court to Torah Prison in Cairo in 2011, he cried in protest and refused to get out of the helicopter.