Egypt's former dictator Hosni Mubarak has been moved from a prison to a military hospital as he slipped into a coma, reports have claimed.

While some reports suggested he had suffered a stroke, others indicated a cardiac arrest and a few claimed that Mubarak was clinically dead.

Reuters quoted military sources as saying: "Any talk of him being clinically dead is nonsense. He is completely unconscious. He is using artificial respiration."

The 84-year-old iron-fisted former ruler of Egypt was on life support in the hospital but alive, according to an interior ministry spokesperson quoted by various media agencies.

Mubarak was moved to Cairo's Maadi military hospital by a helicopter. Small numbers of both supporters and protestors gathered outside the hospital, according to reports.

"He is my father. I love him more than my father. The Muslim Brotherhood are criminals. They have destroyed our country. Mubarak kept us in peace for 30 years," the BBC quoted an ardent supporter of Mubarak as saying.

Mubarak has been in the medical ward of the prison for the past few weeks.

His health has been a constant cause of concern for the past one year. Even during his trial, he was brought to court in a wheelchair.

His legal team of experts has been requesting Egyptian authorities to transfer Mubarak to a better place where there are more facilities to take care of his health but this has been rejected.

Previously too there were alarming reports about Mubarak's health.

Mubarak was sentenced to life on 2 June, for failing to stop the killing of protestors.

His health has worsened at a time when the presidential elections in Egypt have stirred up fresh anger with the results yet to be announced - three days after polling stations closed.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the primary group which ousted Mubarak during the uprising in January 2011, has claimed victory and tens and thousands of people have marched to Tahrir Square to protest against the ruling military council for assuming sweeping powers for itself.

The Brotherhood has insisted that Mubarak should face the death penalty and vowed that it would retry him once it came to power.