Monday 19 November 2012 - 10:54

Saudi king undergoes back surgery

Story Code : 213265
Ailing Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
Ailing Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
The surgery aimed at correcting “a ligamentary slackening in the upper back” began on Saturday and ended at dawn on Sunday.

    Reports said the operation lasted for about 14 hours, with many believing that the long operation would have dangerous consequences on the elderly monarch’s health. Reports also casted doubts on initial claims by the Saudi regime that the operation was successful.

“A surgery was performed on the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, at the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh on Saturday,” the royal court said in a statement on Sunday. “And thanks be to God it was successful.”

The 89-year-old king’s health has declined over the past few years, and he has been hospitalized several times.

In October 2011, Abdullah underwent similar operation to tighten ligaments around his third vertebra.

In 2010, he had two rounds of back surgery in the United States after suffering a herniated disc.

Saudi Arabia has been facing political turmoil over the past months with several members of the monarchy being engaged in a power struggle.

The kingdom’s western allies, including the United States, have voiced concern over the presence of instability in the country.

Advanced age and failing health as well as the deaths of the king’s half-brothers have raised worries about the future of the oil-rich country in the face of the ongoing domestic anti-regime demonstrations.