The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Nov 13, 2012
 

Palestinians begin work to open Arafat's grave: Source

 
 

RAMALLAH (AFP) - The Palestinians on Tuesday began work to open the grave of the late Yasser Arafat ahead of an exhumation of his body for a murder probe, a source close to his family said.

"Today they started removing concrete and stones from Arafat's mausoleum and the work will last for almost 15 days," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"There are several phases," he said, referring to the operation to open the tomb ahead of a visit by French, Swiss and Russian experts to forensically test Mr Arafat's remains over suspicions that he was poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium.

"It starts with the removal of stone and concrete and cutting the iron (framework) until they reach the soil that covers the body, which will not be removed until the arrival of the French prosecutors, Swiss experts and Russian investigators," the source said.