Richard Holbrooke shakes hands with Hamid Karzai
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Holbrooke was 'central player' in ending Bosnian war

Veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke has died following a second round of surgery to treat a heart condition.

He fell ill on Friday while meeting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was President Barack Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Nicknamed The Bulldozer, the 69-year-old gained a reputation over the years for confronting warring leaders to get them to come to the negotiating table.

The BBC's former correspondent Martin Bell said this was a huge blow to American diplomacy.

  • 14 Dec 2010