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UPDATE: There are, yet again, conflicting reports coming out of Egypt in regards to Hosni Mubarak's health. One thing does appear clear, though: It doesn't look good for the deposed president.
Medical sources tell the state-run Mena News Agency that Mubarak was declared "clinically dead" by his doctors on Tuesday, shortly after he was transferred to a military hospital in Cairo after suffering a stroke and cardiac arrest.
While that news was confirmed by unnamed hospital sources to Reuters, security officials and Mubarak's lawyer told both the Associated Press and CNN that the 84-year-old remains alive, albeit on life support. That distinction likely explains why everyone was being careful to attach the "clinically" disclaimer to Mubarak's reported condition. As USA Today explains: "It's possible that Mubarak could be brain dead but being kept alive mechanically."
Gen. Mamdouh Shaheen, a member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, explained Mubarak's situation like so to CNN: "He is not clinically dead as reported, but his health is deteriorating and he is in critical condition."
Mubarak's health has been the subject of near-constant rumors and speculation in Egypt, where many have repeatedly voiced skepticism about the ex-president's failing health, believing that such reports are an effort to soften public opinion about the former president. Government officials had previously said that Mubarak's health took a serious turn for the worse after his June 2 conviction for the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators last year.
June 11, 2012: Egypt's Interior Ministry announced Monday that Hosni Mubarak is in a "full coma," although there have been several conflicting reports coming out of the country that suggest the former president is conscious and awake.
"Mubarak entered today into a full coma. His two sons, Gamal and Alaa, submitted a request to the prison authority to move beside him and it has been accepted," ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said (via CNN). "His health has been deteriorating since the verdict, with high blood pressure, problems breathing, and irregular heartbeat."
Some on the ground, however, have offered a conflicting story. A 5:49 a.m. a tweet from BBC journalist Piers Scholfield claims that a source told the BBC that the 84-year-old is not in a coma, and Reuters likewise reports that prison sources said on Monday he was awake. A spokesperson for the prison told Bloomberg Monday morning that his heart had to be revived twice using a defibrillator, but other statements exclude this report.
Egypt’s prison authority has approved requests for both of Mubarak’s currently imprisoned sons to stay in cells closer to him as his health reportedly deteriorates. His family’s multiple requests that he be moved to a military hospital or other facility, however, have not been approved.
Some 200 Mubarak supporters gathered Saturday to protest these requests being denied.
Mubarak’s health appears to have seriously deteriorated since his June 2 conviction for the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators last year. Officials said last week that he had been placed on a ventilator several times, one of many such reports since his April 2011 arrest. He was bedridden during the trial and attended court on a gurney.
The current uncertainty about Mubarak's exact health is reminiscent of a similar back-and-forth last July, when his lawyer claimed he was in a coma and his doctors denied it.