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Islamic spiritual leader Nik Aziz, who helped keep Malaysia's opposition united, dies at 84

  • FILE - In this April 26, 2013, file photo, Malaysia's opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat speaks during an election campaign rally in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Nik Aziz has died at age 84. His family and his party said Nik Aziz, who was battling prostate cancer, died late Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 at his home in northeastern Kelantan state. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin, File)

    FILE - In this April 26, 2013, file photo, Malaysia's opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat speaks during an election campaign rally in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Nik Aziz has died at age 84. His family and his party said Nik Aziz, who was battling prostate cancer, died late Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 at his home in northeastern Kelantan state. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 8, 2008, file photo, spiritual leader of the Malaysian opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat shows thumbs up sign as he leaves after casting his vote in general elections at a polling center in Kota Bharu, capital of Kelantan state in Malaysia. Nik Aziz has died at age 84. His family and his party said Nik Aziz, who was battling prostate cancer, died late Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 at his home in northeastern Kelantan state. (AP Photo/John W. Ishii, File)

    FILE - In this March 8, 2008, file photo, spiritual leader of the Malaysian opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat shows thumbs up sign as he leaves after casting his vote in general elections at a polling center in Kota Bharu, capital of Kelantan state in Malaysia. Nik Aziz has died at age 84. His family and his party said Nik Aziz, who was battling prostate cancer, died late Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015 at his home in northeastern Kelantan state. (AP Photo/John W. Ishii, File)  (The Associated Press)

Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, a revered Islamic spiritual leader who helped bolster unity in Malaysia's opposition bloc and a key advocate of Islamic law, has died at age 84.

His family and his party say Nik Aziz, who was battling prostate cancer, died late Thursday at his home in northeastern Kelantan state.

Nik Aziz, the spiritual leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, helped keep his party in an opposition alliance amid calls from conservative members to leave the bloc.

His death is the second big blow to the opposition this week, with alliance leader Anwar Ibrahim jailed for five years Tuesday for sodomy. Analysts say the incidents increase the risk of a split-up in the three-party alliance, which has been beset for months by infighting and growing ideological differences.