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Czech leader Vaclav Havel dies

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Published on Dec 18, 2011

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Vaclav Havel, the playwright-turned-politician who served as the last president of Czechoslovakia and first president of the Czech Republic, has died at age 75.

Havel, a former chain-smoker who suffered breathing difficulties, died on Sunday morning at his weekend house in the northern Czech Republic.

As a dissident playwright, Havel wove theatre into politics to peacefully bring down communism in Czechoslovakia and become a hero of the epic struggle that ended the Cold War.

Al Jazeera's Simon McGregor-Wood reports.

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