Ex-Iraqi FM Tariq Aziz suffers a stroke

Former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz has beenafflicted by a severe stroke and has lost the power of speech,according to his son.

TariqAziz was the international face of Saddam Hussein's regime for severalyears. He was convicted and sentenced to prison for his involvement inthe forced displacement of Kurds in northern Iraq.

Ziad Aziz told The Associated Press on Sunday his 73-year-oldfather had a stroke on Friday and was rushed to a hospital in Balad,about 40 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

"He fell to the floor in his jail cell and we were told afterwards that he lost his speech completely," Aziz said.

He said they had contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross for more details.

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