Security officials say Hosni Mubarak is in a coma but off of life support and his heart and other vital organs are functioning.
Overnight, state media reported that the 84-year old former president, who was ousted in last year’s uprising, suffered a stroke and was put on life support. He was later transferred to a military hospital from the Cairo prison hospital where he recently began serving a life sentence.
The security officials said Wednesday that a team of 15 doctors was supervising the condition of Mubarak, who needed help with his breathing.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The developments add more layers to what is threatening to become a new chapter of unrest and political power struggles in Egypt, 16 months after Mubarak was ousted by a popular uprising demanding democracy.
The Muslim Brotherhood, emboldened by its claims that it candidate won the election, sent tens of thousands of its supporters into the street. It was an escalation of its confrontation against the ruling generals over their grab this week of sweeping powers that give them dominance over the next president.