Thai officials say Chin Peng, who led a bloody insurgency against British rule in Malaysia and had lived in exile for five decades since then, has died in a Bangkok hospital. He was reportedly 88 or 90 years old.
A Thai army official said Chin Peng died of cancer early Monday morning.
He was Malaysia’s best-known former communist guerrilla. He led an insurgency against British and Commonwealth forces during the period known as the Emergency, the bloodiest time in the country’s modern history. Some 10,000 people are believed to have been killed.
Chin Peng lost a legal struggle in recent years to be allowed back into Malaysia. Government leaders insisted his return would upset many Malaysians who lost their loved ones during the communist insurgency.