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Chile's Pinochet still seriously ill, but stable

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Chile's Pinochet still seriously ill, but stable


Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet continues to fight for his life in a military hospital after suffering a heart attack. The 91-year-old has had surgery to re-open his arteries. Earlier he had been given the Roman Catholic last rites.

Briefing reporters, Dr. Juan Ignacio Vergara said Pinochet remains seriously ill although his condition has not deteriorated. The medical team in Santiago want to avoid further surgery because of the retired general’s age.

At his birthday celebrations last month, he issued a statement acknowledging what he called “political responsibility” for acts committed following the military coup that brought him to power in 1973.

Around 3,000 people were killed or simply “disappeared” during Pinochet’s rule. Some 28,000 were tortured. He has been accused of a string of human rights abuses.

Amid news that he will remain in hospital for at least the next 10 days, a court ordered the former dictator be freed on bail in the latest case against him.

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