Sydney, Feb.12 : East Timor President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta will remain in an induced coma until at least Thursday, doctors at a Darwin hospital said on Tuesday evening.
They said that Ramos-Horta is in a serious but stable condition following Monday's assassination attempt in Dili, during which he was shot two or three times by rebel troops at his residence.
Surgeons operated on Dr. Ramos-Horta for up to three hours overnight to remove bullet fragments and repair his wounds.
"His condition remains extremely serious but by the same token, stable," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Royal Darwin Hospital general manager Len Notaras as telling ABC Radio.
"The next few days will be the telling point," Dr. Notaras as saying, and added that the fragments removed from the president's body had been given to Australian Federal Police for forensic examination.
Dr Notaras said Dr Ramos-Horta was lucky to be alive after the assassination attempt and had suffered "terrible injuries".
"He remains in the intensive care (ward) and will remain there until at least Thursday this week on a ventilator.
"I believe he is extremely lucky to be alive.
"His progress is going to plan, clinically, and we expect that the next three to five days will be critical in terms of ensuring that we keep a vigilance for infection."
Dr Ramos-Horta was airlifted to Darwin yesterday for emergency medical treatment.
Story first published: Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 19:38 [IST]