Doctors reportedly have put former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak on life support as turmoil once again threatens to sweep the country.
Mubarak, 84, has been ailing since early 2011, when he was ousted by the army after mass protests.
The worsening of his condition on Tuesday, reported by various media citing unnamed military officials, comes two weeks after his life sentence for his role in ordering the deadly quelling of the 2011 protests, when hundreds were killed by pro-government militants.
It also comes after loyalists to both candidates in elections to replace him over the weekend claimed victory.
One candidate, Mohammed Morsi, is backed by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and the other, Ahmed Shafik, was Mubarak’s last prime minister and has the backing of the Egyptian military establishment.
Reports said Tahrir Square in Cairo was filling with protesters against a number of decisions by the courts and by the interim military rulers that would curb the power of the new president and the parliament.
In recent days, violence has flared between Israel and the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, an ally of the Muslim brotherhood.
At least one attack was launched from within Egypt, which shares a border with Israel and Gaza.