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Palestine's Islamic Jihad denies leader was in coma in Lebanon

Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad has denied reports that its Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah was in a coma.

Media reports earlier said that Shallah, 60, was comatose after a series of operations in Lebanon, where he is based.

In a statement today, Islamic Jihad said Shallah had recently undergone heart surgery.

"His condition is stable and is subject to medical follow-up," the group said.

Citing a source close to the movement, Quds Press reported that Shallah had fallen into a coma after he underwent heart surgery in Beirut.

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The agency also said that a security official at the Palestinian Embassy in Beirut had raised suspicions that the group's chief might have been poisoned, pointing the finger at Israel's Mossad or a "security apparatus or a regional state", without elaborating.

A co-founder of Islamic Jihad, Shallah was elected the group's secretary-general in 1995.

Shallah is on the FBI's list of most wanted for allegedly conspiring to carry out attacks against Israel.

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