Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov has died at the age of 78, diplomatic sources told Reuters. Last week he suffered a stroke and his condition was critical.
His daughter Lola said he had suffered a brain hemorrhage. He has been in the hospital since last Saturday.
The Uzbek government did not immediately confirm the news. On Friday morning it said the health of the president had deteriorated.
Since 1989, he was the dictator of an authoritarian regime. West and human rights groups highly criticized him for his authoritarian style. At first, he was the leader of the local Communist Party and then from 1992 he ruled Uzbekistan as a President of newly independent republic.
Under his reign, the country has suffered from terrible human right abuses. In 2005, the nation witnessed the largest state led massacre of protesters at Tiananmen Square in Andijan.
But he did not select a successor. According to analysts, the process is likely to be decided by a small group of senior officials and family members behind a closed door.
If they fail to agree on a compromise however, open disagreement could undermine the 32 million’s nation that has become a target for Islamist militants.
The name of the successor may likely to come after the government’s announcement of his death. One of the sources said the government announcement was expected later on Friday. Whoever will be the next successor he will be in charge to organize the funeral.