CAIRO, June 19 (Reuters) - Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for three decades until being overthrown last year, was on life support in hospital, military officials said on Tuesday, but they denied a report he was clinically dead.
Earlier the state news agency, amid high tension over the election of a new president, quoted medical sources as saying the former head of state, aged 84, was "clinically dead". That description was used also to Reuters by a hospital source.
But three sources in the military and security services, which retain control following the revolt, said Mubarak was being kept alive and said they would not use the expression "clinically dead" to describe his condition.
General Said Abbas, a member of the ruling military council, told Reuters, that Mubarak had suffered a stroke but added: "Any talk of him being clinically dead is nonsense."
Another military source said: "He is completely unconscious. He is using artificial respiration."
A security source also gave the same account and said: "It is still early to say that he is clinically dead."
The confusion over the state of health of the former leader came as his long-time opponents in the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory over a candidate drawn from military elite in a presidential election held at the weekend.
Results have not been published, and supporters of Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak's former prime minister who was running against the Islamist Mohamed Morsy, said it was he who had won.
State news agency MENA had earlier cited medical sources to say that Mubarak was clinically dead. His heart had stopped beating and could not be revived.
Later, however, the agency, citing medical sources, said a medical team was still trying treat a blood clot on the brain, adding that he had not left the intensive care unit at Tora prison, where he had been held since being sentenced to life imprisonment on June 2 for his role in the deaths of protesters. (Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, Marwa Awad and Edmund Blair)
NOTE: A previous version of this Reuters article reported that Mubarak was declared clinically dead.
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat choses Hosni Mubarak as his vice president.
Oct. 14, 1981
Following Sadat's assassination during a military parade, Mubarak is sworn in as president.
June 26, 1995
The Egyptian president survives an assassination attempt while visiting Ethiopia.
Mubarak orders constitutional amendments that pave the way for Egypt's first-ever multi-candidate elections.
Hundreds participate in protests to oppose a fifth term for Mubarak or plans to let his son Gamal succeed him.
Sept. 7, 2005
Egypt holds its first multi-candidate presidential election is held. Mubarak wins easily over nine other candidates and is sworn in for a fifth consecutive presidential term several weeks later.
Nov. 28, 2010
Egypt holds parliamentary elections, but opposition parties claim the elections are marred by fraud.
Jan. 25, 2011
Thousands of anti-government protesters in Cairo stage the biggest demonstrations in Egypt in years.
Jan. 28, 2011
Mass protests rock Cairo and other cities. Mubarak orders the army out on the streets to restore order.
Jan. 29, 2011
Mubarak appoints his first vice president, Omar Suleiman in a bid to appease protesters. A wave of looting grips Egypt after police withdraw from Cairo and several cities.
Feb. 10, 2011
Mubarak refuses to leave office but hands some powers to Vice President Suleiman.
Feb. 11, 2011
Mubarak resigns and hands power to the military after protesters flood the streets of Cairo and other cities.
April 13, 2011
Mubarak is detained along with his two sons for ordering the use of lethal force against protesters and corruption. The elder Mubarak is held in custody at a Sharm el-Sheikh hospital to monitor his health.
July 14, 2011
Mubarak denies responsibility for the killing some 850 protesters by his security forces, during Egypt's uprising, according to a published transcript of his interrogation.
June 2, 2012
Hosni Mubarak is sentenced to life in prison for acting as an accomplice in the killing of demonstrators during the January 2011 protests. (AP Photo, File)