Bangladesh's president dies at 84
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 0054 GMT (0854 HKT)
President Zillur Rahman at the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Dhaka, February 12, 2009.
- President Mohammad Zillur Rahman died in hospital at age 84
- He was suffering from acute kidney and respiratory problems
- Rahman was elected president, a largely ceremonial position, in 2009
- An Awami League member, he had been involved in national politics for decades
Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- Bangladeshi President Mohammad Zillur Rahman died Wednesday at a Singapore hospital, where he was being treated for a lung infection, an official with his office said. He was 84.
Rahman was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital on March 10. He died there Wednesday afternoon, according to the official, Mohammad Shafiul Alam.
He had been taken from the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, to Singapore by air ambulance after his health deteriorated and was suffering from acute kidney and respiratory problems when he died.
Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy, meaning the role of the president is largely ceremonial. The president is elected by the parliament, while the prime minister is chosen in a general election.
Rahman, of the ruling Awami League, was elected to the position in 2009, becoming the 19th president of Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and others offered their condolences on Rahman's death.
Born in 1929 in the Kishoreganj district of Bangladesh, Rahman became involved in politics when he was a student at Dhaka University.
He played a significant role in the country's war of independence in 1971 and was a close aide to the country's founder, President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Mohammad Zillur Rahman became a member of the Provincial Assembly of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, in 1970 and was elected a member of parliament five times after his country's independence.
As a senior figure in the Awami League, he was imprisoned for four years after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. He was again detained in 1986.
He served twice as the general secretary for the Awami League, which won a landslide victory in the 2008 general elections.
Zillur Rahman's wife, Ivy Rahman, also an Awami League politician, was killed in grenade attacks on a party rally in Dhaka that left 24 people dead and more than 200 injured in August 2004.
Sheikh Hasina, who is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, narrowly escaped the 2004 grenade attacks.
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
July 27, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
July 26, 2014 -- Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT)
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1808 GMT (0208 HKT)
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
Today's five most popular stories