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Photo journal: Arafat's farewell

On Wednesday, diggers started clearing ground in Arafat's Muqataa compound.

A day earlier, rumours of Arafat's death triggered by unconfirmed TV reports had swept through Ramallah, but were quickly quashed by his closest colleagues who were in Paris.

They admitted his coma had deepened and spoke for the first time about a possible funeral - at the Muqata where he was held under virtual house arrest by Israel since 2001.

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