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Hospital Says Arafat's Condition Worsened

9 November 2004 -- Hospital officials in France say Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's condition worsened during the night and his coma has deepened.

A spokesman for the Percy Military Training Hospital near Paris, General Christian Estripeau, said the deterioration in Arafat's condition means that a prognosis is uncertain.

"The state of health of President Yasser Arafat worsened during the night from 8 to 9 November 2004. The comatose state that led to his admission to the reanimation unit became deeper this morning," Estripeau said.

The announcement today comes as visiting Palestinian leaders were in Paris trying to get permission to see the 75-year-old Palestinian leader.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said earlier the Palestinian leaders should be permitted to see Arafat despite the wishes of Arafat's wife, Suha, that they stay away.

Arafat is in the intensive-care unit of the hospital. He is suffering from an unspecified blood disorder.