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Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak flown to hospital

CAIRO – Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak was released from prison and transported by helicopter to a military hospital Thursday in Cairo, according to exclusive footage shown on a private TV station.

A medically equipped helicopter landed Thursday at an Egypt prison Thursday to transport Mubarak from prison to his new home under house arrest, state TV reported, as dozens of the ousted leader’s supporters rallied outside hoping that the ousted leader would be released after more than two years in detention.

The release threatens to stoke the unrest as the Arab nation is already roiled in a crisis over a military coup that ousted Mubarak’s Islamist successor Mohammed Morsi.

Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi has ordered that Mubarak be put under house arrest as part of emergency measures imposed this month after a wave of violence sparked by Morsi’s ouster. The decision appeared designed to ease some of the criticism over Mubarak being freed from prison and ensure that he appears in court next week for a separate trial.

Mubarak faces retrial on charges of complicity in the killing of nearly 900 protesters in the uprising. His trial is scheduled to resume next week.

Since his ouster, Mubarak’s supporters have released conflicting details about his health, including that the 85-year-old suffered a stroke, a heart attack and went into a coma. His critics called these an attempt to gain public sympathy and court leniency.

His wife, Suzanne, has been living in Cairo and keeping a low profile, occasionally visiting Mubarak and their two sons in prison.