Mahmoud Jibril
Mahmoud JibrilReuters

Mahmoud Jibril, the former head of the Libyan rebel government that overthrew dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, died on Sunday of the coronavirus, AFP reported.

Jibril, 68, died in Cairo where he had been hospitalized for two weeks, said Khaled al-Mrimi, secretary of the Alliance of National Forces party founded by Jibril in 2012.

He had been admitted to the Ganzouri Specialized Hospital in Cairo on March 21 after suffering from cardiac arrest and three days later tested positive for coronavirus, hospital director Hisham Wagdy said.

"He started... recovering the day before yesterday but then he began deteriorating again", Wagdy told AFP in Cairo, confirming that Jibril died at 2:00 p.m.

Wagdy, the hospital director in Cairo, said that Jibril was in and out of consciousness during his time in the hospital's intensive care unit, where he had been quarantined since his admission.

Mrimi said that Jibril had appeared in stable conditions in recent days "and was even getting ready to leave the hospital" before his condition deteriorated again.

Jibril headed the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), the interim government during the rebellion that toppled and killed Qaddafi. He served as Libya’s interim prime minister in the period following Qaddafi’s ouster.

He had been an economic advisor to the Qaddafi regime in its final years, before joining the revolution in 2011.

Jibril resigned three days after Qaddafi was captured and killed when NTC fighters overran his hometown Sirte on October 20, 2011.

In the early days of the Libyan uprising, Jibril made several trips abroad to rally European and US support for the rebels against Qaddafi.

In 2012, after the veteran leader was ousted and killed, Jibril stood in the country's first ever democratic elections and his party won the vote but failed to clinch a majority in parliament which chose an independent candidate to become prime minister.

In the chaos and violence that erupted in the following years, Jibril left Libya to live abroad.