Leader of Egypt mourns his loss

Associated Press

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s grandson died abruptly, the president’s office said Tuesday, declining to give a cause of the 12-year-old’s sudden death.

Mohammed Mubarak passed away Monday after a “health crisis lasting two days,” the president’s office said in a brief statement.

State media reported that he had been flown to Paris for emergency treatment, where he was joined by his grandmother, Egyptian First Lady Suzanne Mubarak. His body was flown back Tuesday to Egypt for an immediate burial, in keeping with Islamic tradition.


Mohammed was the child of Mubarak’s son Alaa, 47, a prominent businessman who is not involved in politics. Alaa has another son, Omar, 6.

The 81-year-old president is believed to be grooming his other son, Gamal, to succeed him.

The northern Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, home to the president, was under heavy security during the child’s funeral, which was attended by top state officials and prominent businessmen.

Egyptians first caught a glimpse of Mohammed when he appeared in photographs with his grandfather on the pages of the leading state-owned daily, Al Ahram, a decade ago.

It was rare glimpse of the stern president’s human side as he and his wife played with the child.

Mubarak is scheduled to visit the U.S. on Tuesday to meet with President Obama.