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Zambian Officials Deny Reports Mwanawasa Has Died

Zambian officials say reports that President Levy Mwanawasa has died are false.

Information Minister Mike Mulongoti made a televised address Thursday to say the foreign media reports are not true. He said President Mwanawasa remains in stable condition in a Paris hospital, and is being treated for hypertension.

Mr. Mwanawasa was flown to France Tuesday after suffering a stroke Sunday while in Egypt for an African Union summit.

The summit was dominated by the political crisis in Zimbabwe, and the absence of Mr. Mwanawasa, a critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, was said to hurt attempts to put more pressure on Harare.

Mr. Mwanawasa is 59 years old and has served as Zambia's president since 2002. He is also the current leader of the Southern African Development Community.

He suffered a mild stroke two years ago.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.