Usmonkhon Alimov, Uzbekistan's top Islamic cleric, has died of complications caused by COVID-19 in a Moscow hospital.
Physicians at an intensive-care unit of Clinical Hospital No. 52 in the Russian capital told RFE/RL on August 17 that the chairman of the Spiritual Directorate of Uzbekistan's Muslims died in the facility on August 15 at the age of 71.
According to the doctors, Alimov died of heart complications caused by COVID-19.
Alimov, who was Uzbekistan's grand mufti, was buried in his native Samarkand region in Uzbekistan's southeast on August 16.
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Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev and Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov visited Alimov's home to express condolences to his relatives the same day, local media reported.
The chairman of Russia's Council of Muftis, Ravil Gainutdinov, Mufti of Moscow Ildar Alyautdinov, and the leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramazan Kadyrov, were among those who officially expressed their condolences to Alimov's relatives.
In recent months, Alimov was involved in promoting incumbent President Mirziyoev by intensively meeting with Muslims at mosques and prayers across the country ahead of the presidential election scheduled for October 24.