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Arafat 'may have been poisoned'

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium, his widow Suha said after receiving the results of Swiss forensic tests on her husband's corpse.

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Yasser Arafat's death had been blamed on a stroke

Arafat fell ill in October 2004, displaying symptoms of acute gastroenteritis with diarrhoea and vomiting. At first Palestinian officials said he was suffering from influenza.

He was flown to Paris in a French government plane but fell into a coma shortly after his arrival at the Percy military hospital in the suburb of Clamart, where he died on 11th November.

Palestinian president Yasser Arafat and his wife Suha pictured in October 2004, shortly before his departure for Paris. Credit: ABACA ABACA PRESS/ABACA/Press Association Images

The official cause of death was a massive stroke but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness and no autopsy was carried out.

Polonium- 210 was responsible for the death of defecting Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 after it was slipped into a cup of tea in a London hotel. From his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder.

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