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CAIRO (AP) Wearing a white T-shirt and flashing a smile, Egypt's ousted leader Hosni Mubarak was released from prison Thursday and flown to a military hospital outside Cairo where he will be held under house arrest.

Exclusive Associated Press photos captured the 85-year-old ex-president's first moments after he was freed from Tora prison and flown to the medical facility in the southern suburb of Maadi. Surrounded by armed troops in camouflage uniforms, he lay on a gurney, his hands grasping his head, as he was removed from a helicopter and placed in an ambulance for the short drive to the hospital.

Associated Press photographer Amr Nabil captured the images after confirming with a police officer outside the prison that the helicopter carrying Mubarak was headed to the military hospital. He jumped in his car in what he described as a "race" with the helicopter flying overhead.

Outside the hospital, "medics and security were trying to form a human wall around him," Nabil recalled. "I was shooting photos like a movie, without removing my finger from the button. When I saw him in my frames, I was happy. I had not been able to see what I was photographing until then."