Nuon Chea, ideologue of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, dies at 93

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's U.N.-assisted genocide tribunal says Nuon Chea, the chief ideologue of the communist Khmer Rouge regime that destroyed a generation of Cambodians, has died. He was 93.

Nuon Chea, who died Sunday, was known as Brother No. 2, the right-hand man of Pol Pot, the leader of the regime that ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. The group's fanatical efforts to realize a utopian society led to the death of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and executions.

Researchers believe Nuon Chea was responsible for the murderous policies of the Khmer Rouge and was directly involved in its purges and executions.

He was serving life in prison for convictions by a U.N.-backed tribunal of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.