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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006, 22:11 GMT 23:11 UK
Two-head girl dies of infection
Manar Maged
Manar's second head was capable of smiling and blinking
An Egyptian girl who survived an operation to remove a second head has died from a brain infection.

Manar Maged suffered from a rare condition that occurs when an embryo splits in the womb but does not develop fully into a twin.

Her second head could smile and blink, but could not survive independently.

Doctors in Cairo operated on Manar in February 2005, when she was aged just 10 months. She died, aged two, after being rushed to hospital with a fever.

"She was admitted to hospital in a very bad way," said Abla el-Alfy, a consultant paediatrician involved in her care.

"She had a very severe infection in the brain and she wasn't able to fight it."

Doctors at the Benha Children's Hospital had regarded the fact that Manar survived the initial 13-hour operation as a success.

Her condition improved after the surgery, but she continued to suffer regular infections, Mr Alfy told Reuters news agency.

The second head contained eyes, a nose and a mouth, but was not connected to any internal organs and whether it was capable of independent thought is unclear.

Known as craniopagus parasiticus, the condition is one of the rarest forms of birth defects.

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