Sheik Mohammed Tantawi dead at age 82

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 10 (UPI) -- Sheik Mohammed Tantawi, a top Egyptian religious leader, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, authorities said.

Tantawi, 82, suffered the attack at the King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh while waiting for a flight to Cairo, MENA, the Middle East News Agency, in Egypt, reported.


Tantawi died while being transported to a military hospital in Riyadh, said Mahmoud Awf, Egypt's ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Tantawi was grand sheik of al-Azhar University and grand imam of al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo.

Born in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Suhag, Tantawi held a doctorate in the interpretation of the Koran and was named grand mufti of Egypt in 1986 and grand sheik of al-Azhar in 1996.

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