Rumours in Tunisia of Ben Ali ’stroke’By DPA, IANS
Thursday, February 17, 2011
TUNIS - Rumours were swirling in Tunisia Thursday that ousted ex-leader Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali had been rushed to hospital in Saudi Arabia after suffering a malaise.
The rumours were first reported by French journalist Nicolas Beau, who has written several books about the autocratic president of 23 years.
On his blog, Beau quoted unnamed sources in Tunisia close to the Ben Ali family as saying the 74-year-old ex-president had suffered a stroke and was in a coma in a hospital in Jeddah.
Ben Ali went into exile in Saudi Arabia Jan 14, following a month of street protests over his corrupt, repressive rule.
The unity government in charge of overseeing the country’s transition to democracy refused to comment on the reports, saying it did not comment on “rumours”.