Palestinian officials: Arafat grave being dug up
2012-11-19 0:00

By Mohammed Daraghmeh | AssociatedPress

Two Palestinian officials say workers with jackhammers are opening the concrete-encased grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his former compound in the West Bank.

The officials say the work started Saturday and is to take up to two weeks. Arafatís remains are to be exhumed by French, Swiss and Russian investigators to check for a radioactive substance, polonium-210. The investigation came after a Swiss lab this year discovered traces of the deadly isotope on some of Arafatís clothes, sparking new suspicions he was poisoned.

The Palestinian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the work at the gravesite is shrouded in secrecy, amid cultural sensitivities over digging up the remains of a revered leader. Arafat died in November 2004, a month after suddenly becoming ill.

Article from:

In this Nov. 10, 2008 file photo, members of the Palestinian Presidential Guard stand at the grave of the late leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Arafatís remains will be exhumed Nov. 26, a Western diplomat said Monday, as investigators began determining how best to dig up the grave and extract samples. The new probes into Arafatís death come after a Swiss lab recently discovered traces of polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope, on clothes said to be his, which sparked new accusations that he was poisoned.

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