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Jalal Talabani: Iraqi President Has Stroke

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is fighting for his life after suffering a stroke, an official has said.

Mr Talabani is being treated at a hospital in Baghdad but may be flown to another country for treatment, said Prime Minister's spokesman Ali al Moussawi.

Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki is visiting the president at the hospital in the Iraqi capital.

Mr Talabani, 79, a veteran of the Kurdish guerrilla movement, is Iraq's first president from the ethnic group.

He has struggled with his health in recent years. He was treated for exhaustion in Jordan in 2007 and underwent heart surgery in the US in 2008.

Mr Talabani has lived through decades of conflict with the central government and other Kurdish groups, including a period in exile, before the fall of Saddam Hussein.

He assumed the largely ceremonial presidency in the years after the 2003 invasion, and has often used the role to mediate between sectarian and ethnic groups.