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Hospital: Sharon in Stable but Serious Condition

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in stable but serious condition after undergoing four hours of emergency surgery Friday, to alleviate pressure in his brain and stem new bleeding.

Doctor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital, told reporters that the pressure on his brain was reduced and some blood clots were drained. He said the 77-year-old leader has no active hemorrhaging and that his brain pressure is normal.

Following surgery he underwent a CT scan, and neurologists say there has been significant improvement from when he arrived at the hospital Wednesday evening after suffering a massive stroke.

Dr. Mor-Yosef said the prime minister will be monitored in the neurosurgical intensive care unit, and that despite some improvement, he is still in serious condition.

The Israeli prime minister has been in a medically-induced coma since surgeons stemmed bleeding in his brain Thursday to relieve pressure caused by a massive stroke.

Mr. Sharon suffered a minor stroke in December, and had been scheduled to undergo a procedure Thursday to plug a tiny hole in his heart that doctors diagnosed during his recovery last month.

Mr. Sharon's deputy, Ehud Olmert, has taken over as acting prime minister.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP, and Reuters.