Toppled president Hosni Mubarak clings to life after suffering stroke


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The Independent Online

Hosni Mubarak was reportedly in a coma last night after he was taken to a military hospital in south Cairo following a stroke, officials said.

His wife, Suzanne, was by his side at the facility in Maadi. Security officials said the toppled autocrat was having trouble breathing, and heart and brain specialists were on standby. The former president, pictured left, who earlier this month was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of protesters during the uprisings last year, was initially said to have been on a life-support machine, but officials confirmed yesterday that this was no longer the case.

A flurry of contradictory reports about Mubarak's condition emerged early yesterday, with the state news agency claiming the 84-year-old was "clinically dead" after being transferred from his prison hospital.

The health scare comes at a pivotal moment of Egypt's transition. The nation is due to find out who won last week's presidential run-off today – though an election commission official said last night that the announcement could be delayed because of complaints filed by the two candidates.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi has been tipped as the winner of the poll. His campaign team released detailed tallies of the voting, which they say confirm his victory. Yesterday a group of judges who helped monitor the election also said Mr Morsi had won.

But his opponent, Ahmed Shafik, a former air force chief, has rebutted the claims. The commission overseeing the poll was examining appeals from both candidates yesterday.