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Gabon's President dies in Spain
Omar Bongo, one of the world's wealthiest leaders, became the longest-ruling head of government surpassing Cuba's Fidel Castro. The government responded to Bongo's death by closing Gabon's international airport and the nation's borders.

OMAR BONGO (73), the world's longest-serving President, who ruled Gabon for 42 years, died on Monday at a hospital in Spain. Bongo had converted the nation into a one-party state and converted himself to Islam and took the name Omar.

The government responded to Bongo's death by closing Gabon's international airport and the nation's borders. Gabon had initially denied Bongo was ill, then later said he had been admitted to a clinic for a check-up.

According to the nation’s Communications Minister Laure Gondjout, a state funeral is being planned for Omar Bongo.

Bongo, one of the world's wealthiest leaders, became the longest-ruling head of government surpassing Cuba's Fidel Castro who handed over power to his brother last year.

Bongo had served as a lieutenant in the French Air Force when Gabon was a French colony. After independence, he joined the civil service. Later he became the vice- president. He assumed the presidency on December. 2, 1967, after the death of the first President Leon M'Ba.

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