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An investigation carried out by Russian forensic scientists into the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has found that he was not poisoned. The investigators said that he died of natural causes in 2004.
The Russian team was one of three groups that began investigating his death in 2012. A French team also said that he was not poisoned and died of natural causes. However, the Swiss team’s report last month gained attention since it found that he had high levels of radioactive polonium in his bones. However, they could not rule the poison as a cause of death.
Reuters reports that the investigations were launched following an al Jazeera report that claimed his clothes had traces of polonium 210.
Russian scientists agreed with the French team. “Yasser Arafat died not from the effects of radiation but of natural causes,” Vladimir Uiba, who leads Russia’s Federal Medico-Biological Agency, said.
According to The BBC, Uiba told Interfax that, “Even the Swiss withdrew their statements and agreed with us, and the French confirmed our conclusions.”
But Francois Bochud, who lead the Swiss investigation, told the AFP, “The Russians are putting things forward without giving the slightest numerical value, without the slightest scientific argument. So for me it's empty - a political statement.”
Arafat died in 2004 at a Paris hospital. The cause of death was a stroke and he also suffered from a blood disorder.
image: Wikimedia Commons