Arafat Remains Exhumed to Search for Clues on Mysterious Death

Posted November 27th, 2012 at 2:35 am (UTC-5)
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A team of international experts has exhumed the remains of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from his grave so they can search for additional clues to his death.

Palestinian officials say the remains were taken Tuesday from the massive mausoleum in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Samples from the remains will be handed over to French, Swiss, Russian and Palestinian experts who will examine them in their home countries.

French officials ordered an investigation into Arafat's death earlier this year after the discovery of polonium, a lethal radioactive substance, on clothing of Arafat's that was supplied by his widow.

Polonium decomposes rapidly, however, and some experts say it is not clear whether any remaining samples will be sufficient for testing.

Arafat died in France in 2004 shortly after catching a mysterious illness.

There is persistent speculation in the Arab world that Israel poisoned him, but Israel has denied these allegations.