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Palestinians begin work to open Arafat grave: source

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Agence France-Presse
Nov 13, 2012

Palestinians on Tuesday began work to open the grave of the late Yasser Arafat ahead of an exhumation of his body for a murder probe, a source close to his family told AFP.

“Today they started removing concrete and stones from Arafat’s mausoleum and the work will last for almost 15 days,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“There are several phases,” he said, referring to the operation to open the tomb ahead of a visit by French, Swiss and Russian experts to forensically test Arafat’s remains over suspicions he was poisoned with the radioactive substance polonium.

“It starts with the removal of stone and concrete and cutting the iron (framework) until they reach the soil that covers the body, which will not be removed until the arrival of the French prosecutors, Swiss experts and Russian investigators,” the source said.

On Monday, Arafat’s mausoleum, which is located at the Muqataa presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah was screened from public view with blue tarpaulins ahead of the operation to open the grave.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm





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