Egypt's Mubarak taking phone calls in Sharm: source

CAIRO Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:17pm EST

Hosni Mubarak addresses the nation in this still image taken from video February 10, 2011. REUTERS/Egyptian State TV via Reuters TV

Hosni Mubarak addresses the nation in this still image taken from video February 10, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Egyptian State TV via Reuters TV

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's deposed President Hosni Mubarak is taking telephone calls in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, said a source who spoke to him Tuesday.

"He's fine," the source said. "He is at his residence in Sharm el-Sheikh with his family. He is receiving telephone calls. I spoke to him at 3 o'clock (1300 GMT) this afternoon."

Speculation about Mubarak's health has swirled since he was forced to resign Friday.

The Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat reported that Mubarak was ailing and had refused to travel abroad for treatment.

"What is certain is that his state of health is declining drastically. In addition there is information that he is refusing to receive the required medical treatment," Asharq al-Awsat said in its online edition, quoting a former security official affiliated to the Egyptian military high command.

A military source told Reuters Mubarak was "breathing" but would not give details about his status.

The Higher Military Council took over Egypt when Mubarak resigned Friday following an 18-day revolt against him.

Asharq al-Awsat said Mubarak, 82, had refused advice to travel to Germany for treatment, quoting its source as saying: "He has asked those around him to allow him to die in his country, and I believe this is just a matter of time."

Mubarak underwent gallbladder surgery in Germany last year. Rumors about his health have been rife since then.

While still clinging to office, Mubarak said in his final speeches to the nation that he would die in Egypt.

(Reporting by Edmund Blair, writing by Alistair Lyon, editing by Tim Pearce)

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