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Mubarak in coma as tension spikes over successor

CAIRO--Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was in a coma on life support at a Cairo hospital on Wednesday, sources said, as tension spiked over who will succeed him as president and moves by the ruling military to extend its powers.

The uncertainty over the health of the ousted leader comes amid new political upheaval, with both candidates in a presidential vote claiming victory and the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) granting itself sweeping powers.

Mubarak “is not clinically dead,” a medical source told AFP. “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 confirmed by a member of Egypt's ruling military council, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

Egypt's state television carried a ticker item saying Mubarak was in “a coma and is not clinically dead.”

State news agency MENA had earlier said the ousted strongman, 84, had been declared clinically dead after suffering a stroke in prison and being transferred to hospital.

“Hosni Mubarak is clinically dead,” the report said. “Medical sources told MENA his heart had stopped beating and did not respond to defibrillation.”

News of Mubarak's failing health came as Egypt wrapped up a presidential election runoff and faced “the most critical 48 hours in its history,” said the state-owned daily Al-Ahram.

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 Greek conservative head becomes PM, coalition formed 
Thousands of Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi wave their national flag as they gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Tuesday, June 19, to protest the ruling military's bid to grab new powers, as both presidential candidates Morsi and his rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, claimed victory in an historic vote.

(AP)

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