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Israeli PM In 'Critical' Condition After Brain Surgery

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (file photo) (epa) 5 January 2006 -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is reportedly in critical condition after undergoing hours of surgery following a massive brain hemorrhage.

The 77-year-old Sharon suffered a stroke late on 4 January and was rushed to the hospital from his home.

Doctors said the surgery stopped the bleeding in Sharon's brain and that his vital signs are now stable.

He is now on a respirator in intensive care.

The operation comes less than three weeks after Sharon suffered a minor stroke.

The Israeli cabinet has convened an emergency meeting. Sharon's prime ministerial powers have been temporarily transferred to Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

(compiled from agency reports)