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AMMAN, Jordan - The son of former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz says his father was afflicted by a severe stroke over the weekend and has lost the power of speech.

Tariq Aziz was the international face of Saddam Hussein's regime for several years. He was convicted and sentenced to prison for his involvement in the forced displacement of Kurds in northern Iraq.

Ziad Aziz told The Associated Press on Sunday his 73-year-old father had a stroke on Friday and was rushed to a hospital in Balad, about 40 miles north of the capital Baghdad.

He fell to the floor in his jail cell and we were told afterwards that he lost his speech completely, Aziz said.

He said they had contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross for more details.