Former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon dies

Photo: Former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon dies

 / Israel

Ariel Sharon, Israel's prime minister from 2001-06, courted controversy and defied his critics throughout a long military and political career that had a profound impact on the Middle East, dpa reported.

Sharon died at 85 on Saturday, after eight years in a vegetative state. He was felled by a massive stroke on January 4 2006 while campaigning for re-election. He had been tipped to win.

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