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Cuba in national mourning for former leader Fidel Castro

Cuba is observing nine days of national mourning for former President Fidel Castro, who has died at the age of 90.

The socialist revolutionary's death was announced by his brother, Raul Castro, the incumbent Cuban president, on state television late on Friday.

In his address the elderly leader said Mr Castro, who ruled Cuba since 1959 and survived countless assassination attempts, died at 10.29pm on Friday.

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Fidel Castro 'defined and dominated' Cuba for 60 years

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

One of the defining leaders of the 20th century, Fidel Castro, who has died at the age of 90, was seen as both pariah and people's champion.

He led a coup in 1959 to overthrow the regime of the US-backed former Cuban president Fulgencio Batista, and remained hostile to Washington throughout his life.

Castro survived countless assassination attempts, including an exploding cigar, and ruthlessly jailed many political opponents. He also led the world to the brink of nuclear war in the 1960s.

Castro stepped down as Cuba's president 10 years ago after suffering a severe gastrointestinal illness, and before his 90th birthday in August he told supporters he expected to die soon.

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