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Colin Powell: Ex-US Secretary of State & Key Player in Both Iraq Wars Dies at 84

Despite being fully vaccinated, Powell died of COVID-19 complications.

Updated
World
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Colin Powell.&nbsp;</p></div>
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United States (US) war hero and the first Black US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, died from complications from COVID-19 on Monday, 18 October, news agency AFP reported.

Powell’s family said in a post on social media, “He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”

The 84-year-old retired four-star general and former chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who served under four presidents, was massively criticised for his February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council where he had alleged the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and made a case for war in the country. Evidence for the weapons of mass destruction was later proven to be false.
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Meanwhile, tributes poured in from Congress for the former Secretary of State.

Background

Powell had served as the national security adviser to President Ronald Reagan, then as the chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the George HW Bush administration (during the 1990-91 Gulf War), and then as Secretary of State under George Bush (during the 2003 Iraq War).

Despite being fully vaccinated, Powell was being treated for COVID-19 at Walter Reed National Medical Centre.

Powell had completed two tours of duty in Vietnam in 1962 to 1963 as one of John F Kennedy's thousands of military advisers, and again in 1968 to 1969 to investigate the My Lai massacre.

Though he earned a Purple Heart, he was also faced with questions regarding his report into the hundreds of deaths at My Lai, which seemed to dismiss any claims of wrongdoing, AFP reported.

(With inputs from AFP and BBC.)

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