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Yasser Arafat murdered? Officials begin investigation into leader's death

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PARIS (AP) - A judicial official has told the Sipa news agency that French prosecutors have opened a murder investigation into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Photo: World Economic Forum

Suha Arafat filed a legal complaint in France after Arab satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera broadcast the results of an investigation into her husband's death. That included tests of objects that Suha said belonged to him.

A Swiss institute detected elevated traces of polonium-210 - a rare and highly lethal substance - on the belongings, but said the findings were inconclusive.

The official said on condition of anonymity because of office rules that a judge will be named to investigate.

Arafat died in a French military hospital in 2004 of what doctors called a stroke.

Longstanding rumors in the Arab world have said he was poisoned.

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