Yasser Arafat's widow calls his death a mystery

Valletta: The widow of Yasser Arafat says she sees a spiritual significance in the timing of her late husband's exhumation, which came just two days before a UN vote on whether to recognise a Palestinian state.

Suha Arafat told a news agency today at her home in Malta that the exhumation to determine whether Arafat had been poisoned "was as if his soul was resurrecting" ahead of today's vote in the General Assembly.

Mrs Arafat called the former Palestinian leader's death in November 2004, a month after suddenly falling ill, "the most important mystery of the Middle East."

Arafat's remains were exhumed in the West Bank on Tuesday in a renewed investigation into his death. Palestinian officials claim he was poisoned by Israel, which has denied the allegations.