'Deposed Tunisian president is in a coma'

February 17, 2011 11:17

French daily reports that Ben Ali had a stroke, is comatose in a special hospital for Saudi princes in "worrying" condition.

Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

Tunisia president Ben Ali. (photo credit: Courtesy [archive])

Deposed Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had a stroke and is in a coma, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Thursday.

"The former head of state was admitted to an institution for Saudi princes under a false identity for security reasons," the paper reported. "His condition is worrying."

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Ben Ali, who was overthrown by riots in Tunisia in January, has reportedly been ill for several years.

Le Monde also reported that his wife, Leila Ben Ali, "is no longer at his side."

A diplomat told the French daily that "the new acting president in Tunisia is also aware and follows the events hour by hour."

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