BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Jacobo Timerman, an Argentine author who wrote about his experiences of torture and abuse as a political prisoner during the country's ``dirty war,'' died Thursday of a heart attack, his family said. He was 76.

The writer and former journalist had been recuperating from a heart attack he suffered earlier this year. He died in his downtown Buenos Aires apartment, his son, Hector told The Associated Press.

One of Argentina's most distinguished journalists, Timerman became the focus of an international human rights issue when he was hauled away in 1977 by Argentine military forces. In a crackown on all dissenting pressing, authorities had already shut down his liberal newspaper, La Opinion.

He was eventually released two years later.

His two years of captivity eventually became fodder for his 1981 book, ``Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number,'' a gripping story of the abuse and torture he suffered at the hands of the Argentine military as it sought to stifle its political opponents and other dissidents.

The book won international acclaim and drew attention to the disappearances of thousands of people during the seven-year rule by the military.

An Argentine government report says 9,000 leftists and other political dissidents disappeared under the dictatorship; human rights groups say the figure is as high as 30,000.

Timerman is survived by his three sons, Hector, Daniel, and Javier. Memorial services will be held Friday in a private cemetery in the province of Buenos Aires.