Angola's ex-president Dos Santos dies in Spain

Angola's ex-president Dos Santos dies in Spain
This file photo taken on 17 August 2011 shows former Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. Picture: AFP.

LUANDA, Angola - Angola's former president Jose Eduardo Dos Santos died Friday at the age of 79 at a hospital in Barcelona after suffering cardiac arrest, the government said.

With "great pain and consternation" the Luanda government posted on Facebook confirmation of the Dos Santos' death at 11:10 am (1010 GMT).

"(The government) presents its deepest feelings of sorrow to the bereaved family," the statement read, describing the former leader as a "statesman of great historical stature" who led the country through very difficult times.

Dos Santos ruled the Portuguese-speaking, oil-rich state of Angola for 38 years before stepping down in September 2017.

He was hospitalised in Spain and placed in intensive care after suffering a cardiac arrest on June 23.