Sharon leaves hospital

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, has left a Jerusalem hospital after being treated for a mild stroke, saying he planned to return to work soon.

    Doctors say Sharon suffered no lasting damage

    Smiling and joking with reporters but looking slightly

    drawn, Sharon, 77, said: "It appears that you have missed me."

    Sharon, gearing up for a campaign for a 28 March general

    election, wasted little time in trying to allay any public

    doubts about his ability to govern.

    "Now I need to quickly return to work and move forward," he

    said at the Jerusalem hospital where he was rushed by bodyguards

    on Sunday.

    "I don't believe it will affect my ability to

    function."

    Doctors say the former general, who is seeking

    a third term in office, suffered no lasting damage and should recover

    fully.

    But it moved Sharon's health to centre stage ahead of the

    election which polls predict he 

    will win.

    Any further health problems, however, could undermine his

    re-election chances.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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