Battling cancer, former Nepalese prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa died late Wednesday night in a hospital near Delhi, doctors said. The Nepal government said the five-time PM will be accorded state honours and national mourning will be observed on Friday, the day of his funeral.

The 87-year-old Thapa lost his battle to cancer at Medanta - The Medicity hospital in Gurgaon, near Delhi, late Wednesday night, a doctor said on Thursday. He was admitted to the hospital on March 29 and "his stomach, liver, pancreas, oesophagus and intestines were affected," a doctor told IANS.

"Thapa was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He breathed his last around 11 p.m. on Wednesday. We handed over Thapa's body to his brother-in-law Sanjay Bahadur Thapa at 11.20 a.m. on Thursday," the doctor said.

Thapa's family members arrived at the hospital on Thursday and family sources said the body would be taken to Kathmandu where it will be kept at his Maligaon residence in Kathmandu prior to the last rites scheduled for Friday.

On Friday morning, the body will be kept at the party office of Thapa's Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) for paying of last tributes to the departed leader. The body will then be taken to Dasharath Stadium for the public to pay their final tributes.

The body of the late RPP leader will be taken to Pashupati Aryaghat on the banks of Bagmati river where the final rites will be performed with state honours, RPP general secretary Deepak Bohara told media persons in Kathmandu.

National mourning has been ordered on Friday and the national flag will be flown at half-mast on the day in Nepal and at Nepali diplomatic missions abroad, an official spokesperson said in Kathmandu.

Thapa served as Nepal prime minister on five occasions (1963-64, 1965-69, 1979-83, 1997-98 and 2003-04), under three kings in a political career spanning almost six decades.

His only son Sunil Bahadur Thapa is minister for commerce and supplies in the incumbent Sushil Koirala-led government.