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Monday, 5 February, 2001, 17:24 GMT
Saudi hospital sues tobacco firms

A leading Saudi hospital says it's filed a lawsuit against international tobacco firms in the United States to claim compensation for the cost of treating lung disease.

The head of the King Faisal specialist hospital in Riyadh Anwar al-Jabarti was quoted by the official Saudi news agency as saying more than two and half billion dollars were being sought from the tobacco firms and their local agents.

He added that the hospital was filing a new case against the manufacturers of tobacco products smoked in water pipes. Major tobacco companies admitted at United Nations hearings last year that cigarettes were deadly and addictive, but defended their right to market and sell them freely.

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