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Tunisia's Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali 'seriously ill'

17 February 2011 Last updated at 17:58 GMT
Tunisia's Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali 'seriously ill'

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Former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali is seriously ill in a Saudi hospital, reports say.

Mr Ben Ali, who was deposed in a popular uprising last month, has suffered a stroke, a family friend told AFP news agency.

The 74-year-old flew to Saudi Arabia with his family after weeks of mass protests over unemployment and poverty.

Tunisia now has an interim government which is preparing the country for national elections.

The family friend, who was not named, said the former president was "in a coma" in a hospital in Jeddah.

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ENDS

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