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Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former deputy prime minister, has been hospitalized after suffering a severe stroke.

Ziad, Tariq Aziz’s son, said on Sunday that his father had lost the ability to speak after falling ill on Friday

He was rushed to a hospital in Balad, north of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad on Thursday.

“He fell to the floor in his jail cell and we were told afterwards that he lost his speech completely,” his son told the Associated Press news agency.

Badie Aref, Aziz’s lawyer, confirmed the report.

Iraq’s highest court sentenced Aziz to 15 years in jail last March.

He was convicted of crimes against humanity in regards to the killing of 42 Baghdad merchants in 1992.

Aziz surrendered to US forces in April 2003 after Saddam Hussein’s government was overthrown. Al Jazeera

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