Friday, September 2 2016 13:45 EEST
Uzbekistan's cabinet announced after days of official silence that President Islam Karimov is in critical condition
Politics, Uzbekistan, President, Islam Karimov, critical condition, illness, alive, hospitalized, brain hemorrhage, suffer, recover

Uzbekistan says Karimov in critical condition after suffering a stroke, although Reuters cited three diplomatic sources as saying the 78-year-old strongman is dead.

There was no official comment on the Reuters report, which came a few hours after the September 2 cabinet statement carried by Uzbekistan's official newspaper, Halq Sozi (People's Word), according to RFE/RL.

It said Karimov was hospitalized on August 27 and that in the previous 24 hours his condition "saw a sharp deterioration and is considered critical by the doctors."

The statement was the first official word on Karimov since the cabinet announced on August 28 that he had been hospitalized, without saying what was wrong. His daughter said on Instagram the next day that he had suffered a 'brain hemorrhage.'

Uzbekistan celebrated Independence Day on September 1, with Karimov absent. The prolonged official silence had set off speculation that the only person to have led post-Soviet Central Asia's most populous country it declared independence in 1991 had died.

Reuters did not name its diplomatic sources. 'Yes, he has died,' it quoted one of them as saying.

Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, Karimov's younger daughter, suggested via social media on August 31 that her father was alive and could potentially recover.

Until September 2, Uzbekistan's tightly controlled state media had not mentioned Karimov's illness, and it also remains unclear who is currently in charge of the Central Asian nation of around 30 million.

The Uzbek Constitution states that if the president is unable to perform his duties the head of the upper chamber of parliament, the Senate, assumes presidential authority for a period of three months.

As reported earlier by, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov was reported to die at 79 years, - Media.

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