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Veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, 69, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has died after undergoing surgery to repair a torn aorta.

After a career spanning nearly 50 years at the pinnacle of US diplomacy, Holbrooke fell ill on Friday, during a meeting at the State Department.

Holbrooke's death is a significant blow to the US government just days before it is scheduled to announce the latest review of US policy in Afghanistan.

Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports.

Source: Al Jazeera