Politicians on all sides paid tribute on Tuesday to Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister and an ex-commander of the Irish Republican Army, who died overnight aged 66.

"It is with deep regret and sadness that we have learnt of the death of our friend and comrade Martin McGuinness who passed away in Derry during the night. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him," Irish republican party Sinn Fein said in a statement.

McGuinness, a pivotal and controversial figure in the British-administered province for three-and-a-half decades, was in 2007 installed as deputy first minister in a power-sharing executive between rival Protestants and Catholics.

He resigned from that post in January.

"Throughout his life Martin showed great determination, dignity and humility and it was no different during his short illness," Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said.

Arlene Foster, who served alongside McGuinness as Northern Ireland's first minister until January, said news of his death would "come as a shock to many people."

"First and foremost, Martin McGuinness was a much loved husband, father and grandfather," said Foster, who leads the rival Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

"My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and the family circle at this very painful time of grief and loss," she said.

Kyle Paisley, the son of DUP founder Ian Paisley, remembered "the remarkable year he and my father spent in office together and the great good they did together."

"Will never forget his ongoing care for my father in his ill health," Paisley said on Twitter.

Colum Eastwood, leader of the moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), said McGuinness's "remarkable journey from paramilitarism to peace was a hallmark of the transformative effect of the peace process."

"The loss of Martin McGuinness is a significant moment in the history of this island," Eastwood said.

"It is appropriate that we reflect on Martin's remarkable journey, made possible by men and women from all traditions across this island who forged a peace process from the fire of a terrible conflict."

Peter Hain, a former Northern Ireland secretary for the British government, said McGuinness had been "such a pivotal, essential figure in the Northern Ireland peace process."

"While not forgetting the past, no one can doubt the essential role he played in helping to secure the power-sharing arrangements and political progress in Northern Ireland," said James Brokenshire, the current Northern Ireland secretary.

Born in the predominantly Catholic city of Derry in 1950, McGuinness was widely regarded as being a central figure on the Army Council of the IRA.

McGuinness had admitted to being a member of the terrorist organization during the 1970s as violence broke out following the failure of the Irish nationalist-led civil rights movement.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.