Pinochet rushed to hospital after fainting

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The Independent US

Gen. Augusto Pinochet has been rushed to hospital for a series of medical tests after fainting at his suburban Santiago residence, according to state television.

Sources at the Military Hospital said Pinochet fainted Monday morning and was examined at the hospital for three hours. Doctors ordered him to undergo a series of tests at the Las Condes Clinic, the sources said.

Television showed the former dictator's heavily guarded motorcade entering the private Las Condes clinic.

The clinic and the Pinochet Foundation, a private group of Pinochet's supporters and former aides, refused to comment.

Pinochet, 84, returned to Chile on Mar. 3 after a 16-month confinement in London while fighting extradition to Spain, where a judge wanted to try him for human rights abuses during his 1973-90 dictatorship.

He was released by Britain after an independent team of four doctors determined that he was physically and mentally unfit to stand trial.

After a hero's welcome by the military that angered the civilian government and politicians, Pinochet has remained in seclusion at residences in the countryside near Santiago and in the city's suburbs.

Pinochet suffers from diabetes, uses a pacemaker and, according to British doctors, suffered three minor strokes during his confinement.