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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
Pepper spray attack on Mahathir
Dr Mahathir Mohamad
Mahathir Mohamad remains a force in Malaysian politics

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been attacked with pepper spray in the northern state of Kelantan.

Mr Mahathir had arrived at the airport in Kota Baru where he was due to address a public meeting when the incident occurred.

The 81-year-old former leader was taken to his hotel, but did not need hospital treatment, an official said.

Mr Mahathir resigned in 2003 after 22 years in power.

He remains an outspoken force within Malaysian politics. He has criticised his hand-picked successor, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, accusing him of damaging the country.

An aide said that one or more assailants had sprayed Mr Mahathir from a can. He had experienced breathing difficulties for a short while, but had recovered quickly, he said.

Mr Abdullah condemned the incident and said he had ordered police to investigate.

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