Cairo: In an unprecedented step in the Arab world, former Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak and his two sons were detained on Wednesday to face investigations on charges of corruption and abuse of power.

"Mubarak and his two sons Alaa and Gamal have been detained for 15 days for questioning on corruption and abuse of authority charges," official news agency reported quoting a statement from the Justice Ministry.

Mubarak and his two sons were ordered detention for 15 days on suspicion of involvement in the deaths of an estimated 800 people during protests that ousted him on February 11.

Hours after he and his two sons were placed under detention, the state TV reported that he is in "unstable condition" in a hospital.

The dramatic announcement came after the former president, 82, was abruptly hospitalised in the beach resort of Sharm al-Shaikh. Officials said, Mubarak took ill as prosecutors began questioning him about accusations. The former president reportedly suffered a heart attack on Tuesday during questioning by interrogators.

Justice Minister Mohammad al-Guindi said questioning of the toppled President continued in hospital, in an indication that his health problems were not severe.

Judge Taimor Kamel, the head of the administrative prosecution, said the charges against Mubarak are killing protesters in the January 25 revolution, security lax, corruption, wasting public money, the swelling of wealth, and abuse of influence.

The judge confirmed the president's presence in the hospital is some sort of arrest as charges include political and financial charges.

Mubarak and his family retreated to the Red Sea resort after he stepped down in the face of 18 days of protests and turmoil that led to a clamour for reform in the entire Arab world from Tunisia to Egypt.

The protests have since spread to Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Syria and elsewhere. The arrest of Mubarak and his sons came under snowballing protests in Egypt to prosecute him. Tens of thousand of people have been rallying in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square calling for his trial.

The people's fury remained unabated as the crowds in Sharm al-Shaikh pelted a police van carrying Mubarak's two sons to prosecutor's office with water bottles and stones.

Mubarak arrest came despite his coming out of seclusion to appear on Al-Arabiya television to defend his reputation and deny that he and his family had abused power or had assets abroad.

Egyptian stocks drop

Amidst a poor volume of trade and collective concern over a state investment report, and global markets decline over Tokyo's mounting nuclear crisis, Egyptian stocks fell on  Wednesday.

The country's EGX 30 benchmark index declined by 1. 42 per cent to 5202.47 points on sell off of leading stocks.

Small and mid cap enterprises (SME) EGX 70 index also followed the falling trend to shed 2.53 per cent at 585.11 points.

(Agencies)