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Iraq president Jalal Talabani in coma following stroke: report

Pressure on Iraq's Jalal Talabani leads to serious health problems.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (R) at the latter’s home, north of the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah to discuss differences between the Baghdad government and the Kurdistan Regional Government on September 19, 2012. (Shwan Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was rushed to a Baghdad emergency room late Monday for health problems triggered by “his recent efforts to achieve stability in the country," a government statement said Tuesday, according to The New York Times

Later in the day, the BBC reported that Talabani was in a coma. The BBC said the 79-year-old Iraqi leader had suffered a stroke, as Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman had earlier told CNN.

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Earlier, the NY Times cited Iraqi officials saying Talabani's problems were related to a hardening of the arteries. At that time, a government statement said Talabani was in stable condition at the Baghdad Medical City.

"Recently, His Excellency President Jalal Talabani spent exhaustive efforts in order to accomplish harmony and stability in the country," CNN cited the government statement as saying. "Due to fatigue and exhaustion, His Excellency had a health emergency."

The incident took place hours after Talabani met with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who later visited him in the hospital, according to the NY Times.

The news came as the country reeled from two days of attacks that killed well over 40 people. 

Talabani has sought medical attention during trips abroad over the past few years. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/121218/iraqi-president-given-emergency-hospitalization