Ex-Afghan Queen dies

June 27, 2002 at 3:47 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, June 27 (UPI) -- The former queen Homaira of Afghanistan, wife of Mohammed Zahir Shah, died in Rome at the age of 86, two days after being hospitalized for heart troubles, her family said.

Homaira's body is to be returned to Afghanistan.

Her granddaughter Homaira Wali told reporters in Rome that Zahir Shah, had been informed of the death of his wife, who had been planning to join him in Afghanistan.

Zahir Shah returned to Afghanistan in April after more than three decades in exile but his wife stayed in Rome because of health concerns.

Zahir Shah became the king of Afghanistan in 1933. He married Homaira on Nov. 7 1931. She was the daughter of a powerful tribal chief, Ahmad Shah Khan of the Barakzai Pashtun tribe.

The couple left Kabul July 17, 1973, when Zahir Shah's cousin and prime minister, Sardar Daud Khan, toppled Zahir Shah.

The lived in Rome until Zahir Shah's departure for Kabul after the collapse of the Taliban regime.

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