Egyptian Embassy Denies Mubarak Death Rumor

Egyptian blogs and websites like Twitter have been buzzing with rumors that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has died while undergoing a gall bladder operation in Germany on March 6th.

The rumors are so strong that the Egyptian stock market dropped by over 6 percent in the past two days amid concerns about the president's health, especially since the question of succession in Egypt is still unclear.=http:>

(=http:>President Obama shakes hands with with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais))

"If Mubarak was able to say just say 'hi,' the television would have shown him saying 'hi,' but he is in a total coma,"said one post on Twitter.

A spokesman at the Egyptian embassy in Washington vehemently denied the rumor today to CBS News, saying that he should be released from the hospital in Germany in a number of days.

Mubarak's German medical team at Heidelberg University Hospital also issued statements through the Egyptian government saying Mubarak was recovering normally.

But the fact that the 81-year-old Mubarak has not appeared publicly since the surgery is fueling the rumors. Mubarak has been ruled Egypt since 1981 and is the country's longest-serving president. Mubarak has temporarily delegated powers to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, next in line with the constitution.

There are now reports that Mubarak will make a statement by phone from his hospital in Germany to dismiss the rumors. The President's health is an extremely sensitive issue in Egypt and especially as it is still unclear who will succeed Mubarak. Mubarak did not announce yet if he will be running for president during the 2011 elections and many believe he has been grooming his son Gamal for the post.

"The people don't care if it's Mubarak or somebody else. If Mubarak dies, the people might choose Gamal willingly and say poor man his father just passed away," joked one person on Twitter.=http:>


Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App