UK & World News
Mubarak In Coma As Tensions Rise Over Successor
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is in a coma and on life support at a Cairo hospital.
He earlier suffered a stroke and was transferred to hospital from prison where he has been held since he was sentenced to life over the murder of protesters.
Some reports had said Mubarak was "clinically dead".
However one medical source told AFP the 84-year-old "has been placed on an artificial respirator".
The account was confirmed by a member of Egypt's ruling military council, who spoke to on condition of anonymity.
The uncertainty over the health of the ousted leader came against the backdrop of new tension in the country, with both candidates in a presidential vote claiming victory and the ruling military claiming sweeping new powers.
Speaking from Cairo in Egypt, Sky's Middle East correspondent Emma Hurd, said: "It is still a confusing picture.
"First of all we had this report from MENA, which is the official Egyptian state news agency, saying Hosni Mubarak's heart had stopped, that they had tried to defibrillate him, that did not work, and then he was declared 'clinically dead'.
"But that has been followed up by other reports quoting security sources, saying that he is actually unconscious in hospital at the moment, he's been transferred from prison to a military hospital and he is on a respirator, unable to breathe by himself.
"Those security sources are saying that it is too early to declare him 'clinically dead'."
The official MENA news agency had reported that Mubarak was "clinically dead" after "his heart had stopped beating and did not respond to defibrillation".
His health has fluctuated since the end of his trial, with doctors defibrillating him twice on June 11.
He has reportedly suffered acute depression, as well as periodic increases in blood pressure and shortness of breath.
Mubarak was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this month after he was convicted for complicity in the murder of protesters during the uprising that forced him from power.
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.
Both the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's former prime minister, have claimed victory in Sunday's presidential election run-off.
Sky's Emma Hurd added: "I have to say a ripple of celebration went through the crowd in Tahrir Square gathered to protest against military rule here, and calls for a swift handover to the new president, once he's elected, once the results are known here.
"So there was a feeling of celebration initially. Now there's a bit more confusion about what's going on," she added.