Arafat Collapses, Loses Consciousness

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Yasser Arafat collapsed Wednesday evening, was unconscious for about 10 minutes and remained in a "very difficult situation," Palestinian officials said. A team of Jordanian doctors was urgently summoned to treat the ailing Palestinian leader.

Arafat had been eating soup during a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and another official between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. (2 p.m. or 3 p.m. EDT) when he vomited, according to a bodyguard who was in the compound at the time.

Arafat was brought to the clinic inside the compound, where he collapsed and was unconscious for about 10 minutes, the guard said. His doctors were urgently summoned.

On news that Arafata's health was worsening, scores of top Palestinian officials descended on his Ramallah compound. Israeli security officials said his wife, Suha, who lives in France, was expected to arrive Thursday.

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