Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor has died in his prison cells in the United Kingdom, Prisons Officials said in a press statement.
The cause of the dead is not immediately known but his body has been carried away for an autopsy.
Some have suggested that a visitor might have sneaked in poison for the ex-president upon his request.
Taylor was convicted on 11 charges including terrorism, rape, murder and the use of child soldiers by rebel groups in neighbouring Sierra Leone during the 1991-2002 civil war, in which some 50,000 people died.
The former Liberian leader was found to have supplied weapons to the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in exchange for so-called blood diamonds.
The rebels were notorious for hacking off the limbs of civilians to terrorise the population.
Taylor has always insisted he is innocent and that his only contact with the rebels was to urge them to stop fighting.