The Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, was reported to be critically ill in hospital yesterday after suffering a stroke.
Mr Talabani, a Kurd who has mediated among Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties, has been an influential peace-maker who often eased tensions in the fragile power-sharing government.
While three government sources said he was critically ill, his office said the 79-year-old President was stable but under intensive medical supervision after receiving treatment for blocked arteries. He has been suffering from ill health for most of this year.
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