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Emir of Kuwait Dies at 79

January 15, 2006

KUWAIT CITY (AP) _ Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait who survived an assassination attempt in the 1980s and a decade later escaped Iraqi troops invading his oil-rich Persian Gulf state, died Sunday, state television announced. The sheik, who had been ailing since suffering a brain hemorrhage five years ago, was 79.

Crown Prince Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah, a distant cousin chosen by the emir as his heir apparent in 1978, takes over as ruler of the tiny oil-rich country _ a key U.S. ally in the Middle East. He is 75 and has colon problems.

The Al Sabah family has ruled Kuwait for more than 250 years.

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