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Arafat exhumation hoped to shed light on possible poisoning

Published on Nov 27, 2012 1:38 PM
Then Palestinian President Yasser Arafat sits (centre) surrounded by doctors from Tunis, Egypt and Jordan in his office in the West Bank City of Ramallah in this Oct 28, 2004, file photo. The body of Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday, eight years after his death, in an investigation to establish if he was murdered, a Palestinian official said on Nov 24, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

RAMALLAH (AFP) - One of the biggest Middle East enigmas could come closer to a resolution on Tuesday, as remains of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are exhumed to enable investigators to seek traces of poison.

The process will cap eight years of speculation about whether the former president was murdered, as many Palestinians believe.

French judges in charge of the investigation arrived on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where Arafat's mausoleum stands in the grounds of the Muqataa complex, from which the late leader ruled and where president Mahmud Abbas has his headquarters.

Rumours and speculation have surrounded Arafat's death ever since a quick deterioration of his health before he died at the Percy military hospital near Paris in November 2004 at the age of 75.

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