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Egypt's Hosni Mubarak reportedly clinging to life in military hospital

Hosni Mubarak's personal attorney says that the ousted Egyptian leader's condition has stabilized since suffering a stroke. NBC's Richard Engel reports from Cairo.

Egypt’s state news agency said former President Hosni Mubarak is "clinically dead" after multiple strokes, but a lawyer for Mubarak told NBC News early Wednesday that the ousted leader was clinging to life.

Mubarak, 84, had reportedly suffered multiple strokes and heart failure and had been moved late Tuesday to a military hospital from the prison hospital where he was being treated. He was reported to be on life support.

His health has been deteriorating since 3 p.m. (9 a.m. ET), his lawyers told NBC. He suffered two or three strokes and his heart had to be restarted with a defibrillator, they said.

Video on Hayat TV showed an ambulance taking Mubarak to Maadi military hospital, the same one where his predecessor Anwar Sadat was declared dead more than 30 years ago after being gunned down by Islamic militants.

"He is in really bad shape," a U.S. official told NBC News.

The confusion over the state of health of the former leader came as his longtime opponents in the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory of their candidate, Mohammed Morsi, over Ahmed Shafiq, a candidate drawn from the military elite in a presidential election held over the weekend.

An 18-day uprising ended Mubarak’s 30-year rule on Feb. 11, 2011, sparking months of social unrest and political turmoil.

Speculation about Mubarak's health had swirled since he was jailed effectively for life on June 2 for failing to halt the killings of hundreds of the protesters who toppled him.

Philippe Bouchon / AFP - Getty Images

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.

He had been moved to Tora prison hospital from a plush military hospital where he was held during the 10-month trial.

Critics had said his illness was being exaggerated to win public sympathy. Egypt's official news agency earlier this month denied reports that Mubarak had slipped into a coma.

Slideshow: Life of Hosni Mubarak

Egypt's prison authority on June 11 approved a request to let Mubarak's eldest son, Alaa, who is being held at the jail pending trial, stay close to him in the prison hospital because of his deteriorating health, security sources said.

His youngest son, Gamal, once viewed as heir-apparent to the presidency and who is also detained pending trial, was moved closer to him earlier.

Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne, and the wives of his two sons visited him earlier this month and demanded he be moved to a hospital outside prison.

This report from Charlene Gubash, NBC News Cairo producer, includes information from Reuters and The Associated Press.

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