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Confusion Growing Over Arafat's Status


9 November 2004 -- Confusion is growing over the medical condition of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as some news outlets are reporting that he is dead.

An official announcement on what is happening is expected to be issued in Paris tonight by a group of top Palestinian officials.

The group, led by Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei, earlier today visited the hospital near the French capital where Arafat has been under treatment for an unspecified illness.

It's not clear whether they actually saw Arafat, but Arafat's doctors reportedly told them that the 75-year-old leader is in a deep coma and is in "very serious" condition.

On the West Bank, a top Arafat aide, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, said tonight that Arafat was bleeding from a brain hemorrhage. Rahim said arrangements had been made to bury Arafat in Ramallah on the West Bank.

However, news correspondents are quoting multiple Palestinian sources as saying Arafat is already dead.
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