Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was on life support at a Cairo hospital after suffering a stroke in prison, medical and military sources said Tuesday, denying reports he was clinically dead.
The uncertainty over the health of the ousted leader came against the backdrop of new tension in the country, with both candidates in a presidential vote claiming victory and the ruling military claiming sweeping new powers.
Mubarak "is not clinically dead," a medical source said. "He is in a coma and the doctors are trying to revive him."
"He has been placed on an artificial respirator," the source added, in an account that was confirmed by a member of Egypt's ruling military council, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Egypt's state news agency MENA had earlier reported that the 84-year-old ousted strongman, had been declared clinically dead after suffering a stroke in prison and being transferred to hospital.
"Hosni Mubarak is clinically dead," the official news agency reported. "Medical sources told MENA his heart had stopped beating and did not respond to defibrillation."
The report was carried on Egyptian state television, which ran archive footage of the former leader, with a news presenter saying, "I want to affirm that the official news agency of the country, MENA, has announced it."
Another report, by state Nile TV, said an official statement about Mubarak would "soon be announced" by Egyptian authorities.
Mubarak had been taken to a Cairo prison on June 2, after a court handed him a life sentence for his involvement in the death of protesters during the 2011 uprising that pushed him from power.
His health deteriorated after the transfer, with doctors defibrillating him twice earlier this month, and reports saying he was suffering from bouts of depression, high blood pressure and shortness of breath.
Mubarak's family, including his sons Gamal and Alaa, who are being held on corruption charges, had formally requested the former president be transferred to the hospital.
The news of his failing health came against a backdrop of renewed tension over Egypt's difficult transition, with both candidates in a key presidential vote that wrapped up Sunday claiming victory in the poll.
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