Sierra Leone's Sankoh dead

Former Sierra Leone rebel Foday Sankoh died Tuesday of unknown causes.

The man who allowed his rebel warriors to hack off the hands, feet and ears of civilians in Sierra Leone, died of unknown causes in hospital, reported a United Nations spokesperson on Wednesday.

Foday Sankoh, 65, died late Tuesday in UN custody at a hospital in Freetown.

Sankoh's rebels have been accused of murdering, raping and kidnapping thousands of their countrymen. Prosecutors have estimated that during a 10-year period, 75,000 people were killed in rebel violence in the country.

One of Sankoh's friends was Charles Taylor, the former warlod who is president of Liberia.

Sankoh was captured in 2000 in Freetown and taken into U.N. custody. He later was indicted by a Sierra Leone war crimes court.

Before he died, Sankoh faced a 17-count indictment at a war-crimes court, where he once proclaimed, "I'm a god. I'm the inner god. I'm the leader of Sierra Leone."

The war in the country was declared over in 2002.