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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2006, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Ariel Sharon's condition worsens
File picture of former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon
Sharon: In a coma since January
The condition of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon - who has been in a coma for six months - has worsened, doctors treating him say.

They said there had been a deterioration in his kidney function and changes in the brain tissue over the past two days.

Tests are to continue on Mr Sharon, 78, at a Tel Aviv hospital where he is receiving specialist long-term care.

He fell into a coma after suffering a massive brain haemorrhage in January.

"Over the last two days the condition of Mr Sharon has worsened on the level of the kidneys and an examination of the brain showed a deterioration in the cerebral tissue," said Orly Levy, a hospital spokeswoman.

However, Associated Press news agency quoted former aides to Mr Sharon as saying there was no immediate danger to his life.

Mr Sharon was moved from Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital in May to a specialist centre at Tel Hashomer for long-term care.

His deputy, Ehud Olmert, assumed his powers in January before being elected prime minister in March.

Mr Sharon held a number of cabinet positions before he became prime minister in 2001.

A look at the career of Ariel Sharon

Sharon moved for long-term care
28 May 06 |  Middle East
Israeli cabinet ends Sharon rule
11 Apr 06 |  Middle East
Analysis: Sharon's two legacies
27 Mar 06 |  Middle East
Israeli PM suffers serious stroke
05 Jan 06 |  Middle East
Profile: Ariel Sharon
28 May 06 |  Middle East

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