CAIRO - An Interior Ministry spokesman says Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak has been moved from prison to a military hospital after reports he suffered a stroke and his condition rapidly worsened.
A security official said Mubarak is on life support.
Cairo-based MENA news agency also reported Mubarak has been declared "clinically dead," which is defined as the moment the heart stops beating and respiration ceases, but the patient is not brain dead yet. It is uncleaer based on current news reports exactly what state Mubarak is in.
Interior Ministry spokesman Alaa Mahmoud said earlier Tuesday the 84-year-old Mubarak was moved by ambulance from the hospital in Torah Prison to nearby Maadi Hospital in southern Cairo. The military facility is where Mubarak's predecessor Anwar Sadat was declared dead after being shot by Islamic extremists in 1981.
Earlier, the state news agency said Mubarak's health condition rapidly deteriorated, with his heart stopping briefly, then suffering a stroke.
Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison on June 2 for failing to stop the killing of protesters in last year's uprising that led to his ouster.
Moving Mubarak out of prison would likely anger many in the public, where there is a widespread suspicion that security and military officials sympathetic to their old boss are giving him preferential treatment. The public is already stirred up over recent decisions by the ruling military council that have stripped the incoming president from most of his powers, further enshrining the powers of the military. Tens of thousands gathered in Tahrir Square on Tuesday to protest the new decisions.
Since his arrival at the prison directly after his sentencing, Mubarak has been suffering from high blood pressure and breathing difficulties and deep depression, according to prison officials. His lawyer said he didn't trust the doctors and appealed for his transfer to a better equipped hospital.
As news of Mubarak's demise spread late Tuesday, Tahrir Square in Cairo filled with people, many of whom had come to protest the deteoriorating political situation in Egypt.