CAIRO: Egypt's toppled President Hosni Mubarak, jailed for life this month and who has been admitted to hospital for more than a year, is in a coma and on a respirator but is not clinically dead, two security sources told Reuters early this morning.
"He is completely unconscious. He is using artificial respiration," one military source said, after the state news agency Mena reported he was clinically dead after being taken from a prison medical facility to a military hospital.
A separate security source gave the same account and dismissed the report issued by Mena saying: "It is still early to say that he is clinically dead."
Mubarak has suffered from acute depression since his imprisonment, as well as periodic increases in blood pressure and shortness of breath, interior ministry officials said.
Mubarak's wife Suzanne and his two daughters-in-law were given special permission to visit him following rumours that he had died in prison.
Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptians packed into Tahrir Square yesterday to protest the ruling military's bid to grab new powers, as both presidential candidates - Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Mursi and his rival former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq - claimed victory in the country's historic vote.