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NBC News: Egypt's ex-dictator Hosni Mubarak slips into coma

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The President of Egypt for nearly 30 years, Mubarak was an advocate for peace in the Middle East and a major U.S. ally, but Egyptians eventually grew tired of his corrupt regime and he was ousted in a popular revolt in February 2011.

Egypt's deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak was in a coma on Monday, eight days after having been sent to prison to start a life sentence, NBC News reported. 

Mubarak, who is incarcerated at Torah prison hospital, had been on a respirator since Sunday and on a machine to regulate his heartbeat, his lawyer told NBC News.

Doctors had to use a defibrillator twice on 84-year-old Mubarak, according to the officials. They did not say whether Mubarak's heart had stopped or he suffered from irregular heartbeats. But they said that Mubarak has slipped in and out of consciousness three times so far on Monday. He was also reported to be slipping in and out of consciousness on Sunday.


Mubarak's two sons, one-time heir apparent Gamal and wealthy businessman Alaa, were by his side, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The two sons are being held at Torah prison awaiting trial on insider trading charges.

With anger growing in Egypt over the  Mubarak verdict, protestors returned to Tahrir Square to demand justice for those who died in Egypt's revolution. NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

According to Egyptian officials, Mubarak's health has deteriorated sharply since he was convicted on June of failing to prevent the killings of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that ousted him last year. They have also said he is suffering from deep depression.

He and his two sons were acquitted of corruption charges.

Mubarak's wife Suzanne and the wives of his two sons also visited the ex-president on Sunday, the state news agency reported, quashing rumors that had briefly swirled suggesting the former president had died.

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Officials said that family members demanded that Mubarak be transferred to a better-equipped hospital outside the penal system. The officials said such a transfer was likely unless Mubarak's health improves.

About 200 supporters of Mubarak also protested outside Tora prison on Saturday demanding he be moved to a hospital outside prison. 
 

Protesters fill Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday after Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison. Many of the protesters are reportedly angry that members of Mubarak's family and staff were not sentenced to prison as well. NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

In his last public appearance at his sentencing on June 2, the bedridden Mubarak sat stoned-faced in the metal defendants' cage in the courtroom, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses. However, officials said that he broke into tears when he learned that he was being transferred to a prison. It took officials hours to convince Mubarak to leave the helicopter that ferried him from the courthouse to the prison.

Media reports quoted Mubarak at the time as saying the military council who took over after his ouster had deceived him. "Egypt has sold me. They want me to die here," he reportedly said.  

NBC News' Charlene Gubash, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

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