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Israeli Premier Undergoes Operation

Ariel Sharon in December 2005 (epa) 11 February 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent emergency surgery today after a computer scan revealed severe damage to his digestive tract.

The surgery took nearly four hours to complete. There was no immediate announcement about Sharon's condition but doctors said prior to the operation that his life was in danger.

Sharon, 77, suffered a massive stroke on 4 January and has been in a coma since then. Earlier this month, a feeding tube was inserted, suggesting doctors were preparing him for long-term care.

Before undergoing surgery, a spokeswoman for the Hadassah hospital, Yael Bossem-Levy, told RFE/RL that an abdominal scan revealed problems with the blood flow to his intestines and that his digestive tract had suffered severe damage.

"His [Sharon's] condition is very serious, he's in the operating room right now, and there is a danger to his life," she said.

(with agency reports)