Mother of Iraqi Kurdish leader dies of cancer

AP News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2011 8:13 AM
Mother of Iraqi Kurdish leader dies of cancer

Hamayel Khan, the mother of the president of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region, has died at the age of 85.

A government spokesman on Thursday said Massoud Barzani's mother died Wednesday of cancer in a hospital in Vienna, Austria.

Spokesman Fouad Hussein says a three-day mourning period will be observed in the three northern provinces that make up Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region.

Khan had been ill for several weeks.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey offered his condolences in a statement to Barzani's family, calling Khan a "historic and nurturing figure."