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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was last night declared "clinically dead" by his doctors after suffering a stroke and cardiac arrest, the state news agency MENA said.
"Former president Hosni Mubarak has clinically died following his arrival at Maadi military hospital on Tuesday evening," MENA said quoting medical sources.
"Mubarak’s heart stopped beating and was subjected to a defibrillator several times but did not respond."
However, there was confusion over the reports as Reuters, citing two security sources, said he was not dead but unconscious and on a respirator.
Mubarak’s health had been failing since he was sentenced to life in prison on Jun 2, after he was convicted of failing to prevent the killing of protesters in a Feb 2011 uprising against his rule.
He had ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was overthrown by a revolution in the Arab Spring last year.
After sentencing, he was transferred to prison after spending months in a military facility.
Throughout his time at the prison, Mubarak had suffered from high blood pressure, breathing difficulties and deep depression, according to prison officials.
The 84-year-old’s health was the subject of widespread speculation for much of the latter part of his 30-year rule.
During his trial, he was wheeled into court on a hospital stretcher for each hearing, though it was unclear what he was suffering from. He had suffered a stroke and been defibrillated before being transferred to hospital from the prison. His health fluctuated since then, with doctors defibrillating him twice on Jun 11.
The ex-dictator, said to be too sick by his doctors for a jail cell, had been held in a luxury medical suite at a military hospital throughout the court proceedings.
Reports of his death came as thousands of protesters gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square against the military’s move to grant itself sweeping powers.
The son of a low-level bureaucrat in the Nile Delta, Mubarak completed Egypt’s three-year military academy in two years and rose quickly through the ranks of the Egyptian air force, according to a 2011 profile in the Washington Post.
He was tapped as Egypt’s vice president in 1975 and thrust into the presidency at the age of 53 on Oct 6, 1981, when Islamist radicals gunned down then president Anwar Sadat.
Mubarak himself survived six assassination attempts. He won four terms in single-candidate referendums and easily carried off the first contested election in 2005.
He was a key US ally in the Middle East, a stalwart against the West’s Islamist enemies. He was also able to rebuild relationships with neighbouring countries that were strained after Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel.
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