Europe

Uzbekistan's gov't says ailing president in critical state

  • FILE - In this Monday, April 15, 2013 file photo, Uzbek President Islam Karimov leaves a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia. A national newsreader has delivered a televised Independence Day speech on behalf of ailing President Islam Karimov, who remains hospitalized in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, with a suspected brain hemorrhage. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, file)

    FILE - In this Monday, April 15, 2013 file photo, Uzbek President Islam Karimov leaves a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia. A national newsreader has delivered a televised Independence Day speech on behalf of ailing President Islam Karimov, who remains hospitalized in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, with a suspected brain hemorrhage. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 1, 2016 file photo, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov speaks to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev while touring the ancient city of Samarkand in central Uzbekistan. A national newsreader has delivered a televised Independence Day speech on behalf of ailing President Islam Karimov, who remains hospitalized in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, with a suspected brain hemorrhage. (Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP, file)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 1, 2016 file photo, Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov speaks to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev while touring the ancient city of Samarkand in central Uzbekistan. A national newsreader has delivered a televised Independence Day speech on behalf of ailing President Islam Karimov, who remains hospitalized in the Uzbek capital, Tashkent, with a suspected brain hemorrhage. (Dmitry Astakhov, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, Uzbek workers clean an area of the central cemetery in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Respected Central Asian news website Fergana.ru on Friday posted pictures from Karimov's hometown of Samarkand, showing what appeared to be undertakers working on a cemetery plot in the city's historic graveyard where Karimov's family is buried. The government of Uzbekistan said on Friday that ailing President Karimov is in critical condition, following a week of speculation that the country's president of nearly 27 years could be at death's door. (News Agency Ferghana.Ru/Photo via AP)

    In this photo taken on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, Uzbek workers clean an area of the central cemetery in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Respected Central Asian news website Fergana.ru on Friday posted pictures from Karimov's hometown of Samarkand, showing what appeared to be undertakers working on a cemetery plot in the city's historic graveyard where Karimov's family is buried. The government of Uzbekistan said on Friday that ailing President Karimov is in critical condition, following a week of speculation that the country's president of nearly 27 years could be at death's door. (News Agency Ferghana.Ru/Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The government of Uzbekistan says ailing President Islam Karimov is in a critical condition.

Friday's announcement follows days of unofficial reports that Karimov was at death's door or even dead. His daughter Lola said earlier this week the 78-year old had suffered a brain hemorrhage.

Karimov has run an authoritarian regime in the Central Asian nation since 1989, suppressing opposition and cultivating no apparent successor. He hasn't been seen in public since mid-August, and his government last weekend admitted he was ill.

Uzbekistan on Thursday celebrated its Independence Day and it was widely assumed that if the government was to make an announcement on his condition, they would not break the news until after the festivities.