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Former top Chinese military official Xu Caihou, facing bribery investigation, dies of cancer

FILE - In this March 11, 2012 file photo, Xu Caihou, then deputy chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Military Commission, which controls China's military, attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Former No. 2 military official Xu, who was under investigation for alleged massive bribe-taking, has died in a hospital of cancer, the state Xinhua News Agency reported early Monday, March 16, 2015. He was 71.(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

FILE - In this March 11, 2012 file photo, Xu Caihou, then deputy chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Military Commission, which controls China's military, attends a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. Former No. 2 military official Xu, who was under investigation for alleged massive bribe-taking, has died in a hospital of cancer, the state Xinhua News Agency reported early Monday, March 16, 2015. He was 71.(AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)  (The Associated Press)

Chinese official news agency says former No. 2 military official Xu Caihou (Shu Tsai-HOH) has died of cancer in a hospital.

The 71-year-old Xu had been under investigation for alleged massive bribe-taking.

A former deputy chairman of the ruling Communist Party's powerful Central Military Commission, Xu was the most senior military figure snared in a sweeping crackdown on corruption within the party launched by President Xi Jinping.

The Xinhua news agency says Xu died of advanced bladder cancer that had spread throughout his body and of multiple organ failure.

Xu had been expelled from the party and his rank as general had been revoked but an indictment had not yet been announced. Xinhua says the investigation of Xu would now be dropped because of his death.