Former leader of Muslim Brotherhood Mahdi Akef dies at 89

The former leader of Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, Mahdi Akef, who had been detained since 2013, has died.

The 89-year-old Akef had been suffering from cancer, said Talaat Fahmy, the Brotherhood's spokesman, who confirmed his death on Friday. Akef died in a hospital.

Akef, who headed the Brotherhood from 2004 to 2010, was among the group's figures arrested in the heavy crackdown launched against it following the military's 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood member.

Akef was initially convicted on violence-related charges and was sentenced to life imprisonment. The verdict was overturned on appeal, and he was facing a retrial.

The Brotherhood rose to power in elections following the 2011 uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak. But the military toppled the group after widespread protests against it.