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Hosni Mubarak 'Clinging to Life' as Egyptian Protests Continue

Previous Reports Claim Convicted Former President Was 'Clinically Dead'

Egypt's state news agency Mena reported Tuesday that former President Hosni Mubarak was "clinically dead," but those reports have been denied and the ousted dictator is understood to currently be in a coma.

Mubarak's already poor health has been deteriorating since a blood clot caused his heart to stop on Tuesday. Lawyers for the ousted dictator told NBC News that Mubarak was "clinging to life" and has days or weeks left to live.

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

Although the 84-year-old is said to be in a coma, his heart and other vital organs are functioning and he has been taken off life support.

Mubarak was ousted from the presidency following a 30-year reign of power in 18-day citizen protests that began in January 2011. He is currently being held in prison after being convicted earlier this month of being complicit in the deaths of more than 800 anti-government protesters.

The historic trial of the former leader began last August in Cairo, making the former strongman the first leader from the Arab Spring movement to face a judge. Mubarak was sentenced to a life sentence in prison and he has not been seen in public since he was taken away from the court on a stretcher.

The news of Mubarak's deteriorating health comes as concerns abound over the future of political stability in Egypt.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood party has claimed a victory in last weekend's run-off elections against former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. Shafiq's camp has also claimed victory in the election, but the country's electoral commission is set to announce its official results from the runoff on Thursday.

Further concerns have been prompted by Egypt's interim government headed by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. The military council introduced two new decrees recently, dissolving parliament just ahead of last weekend's historic election and making moves this week to grant itself overwhelming authority over the presidency. Under the new decrees, the military generals will be given control over legislation and military affairs until a new parliamentary election is held.

The move has been criticized as a "constitutional coup" and thousands of protesters have been demonstrating at Tahrir Square -- the same Cairo square of 18-day protests that led to Mubarak's ouster.

"We are here to ask why each time we take one step forward, the military council takes us ten steps back. Neither a resolution passed by a court designated by Mubarak nor a military council can dissolve a parliament elected by 30 million Egyptians," one protester told Euronews.

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