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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 September 2006, 06:15 GMT 07:15 UK
Carlos Menem collapses at rally
Carlos Menem pictured in La Rioja, Argentina
Mr Menem is reported to suffer from diabetes
Argentina's former President Carlos Menem has been taken to hospital after collapsing during a political rally.

Mr Menem was addressing supporters about his bid to be re-elected president in 2007, when he doubled over and clutched his chest.

He had to be assisted from the meeting and taken to hospital in Cordoba, 800 km (500 miles) north-west of Buenos Aires, where he was in intensive care.

Mr Menem, 76, led Argentina for two terms, from 1989 to 1999.

He helped the country recover from its military dictatorship and introduced a privatisation programme. But his final years were dogged by corruption allegations.

Hundreds of supporters at the rally were left in shock after Mr Menem was rushed away, a campaign worker told Reuters news agency.

"He is alert. He suffered a sharp fit, maybe a blackout," said one of his aides.

"Dr Menem is fine. Everything indicates he seemed to suffer from hyperglycaemia," said his nephew, Adrian Menem.

The condition can be linked to diabetes, from which Mr Menem suffers, doctors said.

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