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Sharon in Critical But Stable Condition Following Five-Hour Operation


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains in critical but stable condition in a Jerusalem hospital after undergoing emergency surgery to stop renewed bleeding in his brain.

The director of Hadassah hospital, Doctor Shlomo Mor-Yosef, said the five-hour operation Friday was to reduce pressure inside Mr. Sharon's brain and drain some of the blood clots from earlier operations.

He said a CAT scan of the 77-year old leader's brain showed significant improvement compared with when he arrived at the hospital Wednesday after suffering a massive stroke.

Dr. Mor-Yosef said the Israeli prime minister will remain under medical sedation until at least Sunday, and the hospital did not expect to issue any further public announcements until the end of the Jewish Sabbath at sundown Saturday.

Medical experts have speculated that Mr. Sharon has appeared to suffer extensive and irreversible brain damage, making a return to his former duties as prime minister impossible.

Authorities say Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other senior government officials are monitoring Mr. Sharon's condition closely.

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