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Former German Defense Minister Peter Struck, opponent of Iraq war, dies of heart attack at 69

Former German Defense Minister Peter Struck, a vehement opponent of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, has died following a severe heart attack. He was 69.

His family said struck, a leading lawmaker for Germany's center-left Social Democrats for almost three decades, died in a Berlin hospital Wednesday.

Struck led the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a major foundation affiliated with the party since 2010. The foundation also confirmed his death.

Struck served as Germany's defense minister from 2002 to 2005.

While an opponent of the Iraq war, Struck also oversaw the early years of Germany's military engagement in Afghanistan.

He famously coined the expression that "German security is being defended in the Hindu Kush" mountains.

Struck previously suffered a stroke and was known to have a heart condition.