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Unconfirmed report: Mubarak in coma

Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (L) speaks, with U.S. President Barack Obama at his side, following a Washington Meeting Sept. 1, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (L) speaks, with U.S. President Barack Obama at his side, following a Washington Meeting Sept. 1, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

CAIRO, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Egypt's army told protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square to leave or be arrested and an unconfirmed report said ousted President Hosni Mubarak was in a coma.

Al-Masry al-Youm quoted "well-informed sources" as saying Mubarak, 82, had fallen into a coma in his Sharm el-Sheik residence.

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But RIA Novosti reported that the pro-government daily al-Gomhuria, citing sources, said Mubarak was in a "severe psychological condition" but not in a coma.

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A few dozen protesters who remained in the square said soldiers cordoned them off and they had been asked to leave or face arrest, al-Arabiya reported Monday.

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Al-Masry al-Youm reported Sunday evening that Mubarak was being treated at his residence but a decision had yet to be made whether to transfer him to a hospital. The unconfirmed report said Mubarak fainted twice while recording his final speech that was broadcast on state television Thursday evening before he set out with his family to the resort town.

Egyptian banks were closed Monday due to workers' strikes and will remain closed Tuesday to honor the Prophet Mohammed's birth, Egypt's central bank said.

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The Central Bank of Egypt issued a statement attributing the closures on Monday to "the strikes of workers in some authorities, including public banks" and noting banks were already due to be closed Tuesday as an official holiday.

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Egyptian opposition and presidential candidate hopeful Ayman Nour calledfor a reassessment of the 1978 Camp David Accords, saying the "accord is over," an Israeli television report said.

Israel's Channel Two television reported Sunday night that Nour, the chairman of the Ghad (Tomorrow) Party, told a Lebanese radio station the Egyptian leadership should reassess the framework of agreements that led to a peace deal between Israel and Egypt.

"For all intents and purposes, Camp David is over, because it is an old treaty and its terms must be improved in a way that will correspond with Egypt's interests. The Egyptian rights must be improved, because these rights -- as they appear in the Camp David accord -- are very modest," Nour was quoted by Ynetnews.com as saying.

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On Sunday, Egypt's military dissolved the Parliament and suspended the constitution, paving the way for a new government to be formed, Ahram Online reported.

The Supreme Council of Armed Forces announced plans to run the country for six months or until new elections are held, the Web site said.

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The council said it plans to issue laws and decrees during the transitional period, and amend the constitution, stressing it will abide by all international treaties and agreements, the Ahram Online Web site said.

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Many protesters hailed the developments, but Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, a former U.N. nuclear inspector and opposition spokesman, said he was concerned the military was in sole control.

"I understand that the army might need some time, but they need to lay out what they are up to. We need heavy participation by the civilians," he told CNN. "It cannot be the army running the show."

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