Arafat's remains exhumed in murder enquiry

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 15:50 hrs

Ramallah, Nov 27 (IANS) The remains of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have been exhumed as part of an investigation into his death.

Experts from Switzerland, France and Russia will help the authorities to find out how the Palestinian leader died.

The Palestinian Presidential Guard moved the coffin from the tomb to a nearby mosque in the presidency's Ramallah headquarters, Xinhua quoted a source as saying Tuesday.

Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee investigating Arafat's death, as well as Palestine's senior Mufti, the secretary−general of the Palestinian presidency and the attorney general were present during the digging.

Tight security measures were taken to ensure the secrecy of the process. A military re−burial ceremony will be held soon.

The investigation aims to find out if Arafat's 2004 death in a French hospital resulted from poisoning.

The Palestinians suspect that Israel had poisoned Arafat when he was besieged in his Ramallah headquarters before falling ill.

Earlier this year, Swiss experts tested Arafat's personal belongings as part of a documentary aired by Al−Jazeera, the Doha−based news network.

The report cited the Institute of Radiation Physics as saying that traces of radioactive polonium−210 were found on Arafat's underwear and toothbrush.

Arafat's widow Suha had filed a civil lawsuit at a French hospital asking for a murder investigation into her husband's death. The Palestinian leadership also decided to bring in the Russians for a more credible inquiry.

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