Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Saturday, 6 March 2010

Egyptian President Mubarak's surgery 'successful'

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (image from January 2010)
Mr Mubarak has had surgery in Germany before

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has undergone successful surgery at a German clinic for an inflamed gall bladder, Egyptian state media say.

The 81-year-old leader had the operation after complaining of gall bladder pain while in Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif has assumed presidential powers until Mr Mubarak returns, Egyptian media say.

After the surgery, Mr Mubarak was said to be convalescing in hospital.

He is in the intensive care unit of Heidelberg university hospital where he is reported to be speaking to family members and his medical team.

The president's health is usually a taboo subject in Egypt, correspondents say.

In 2004, he underwent back surgery - also in Germany - and handed over power temporarily to his prime minister.

And in 2003, he collapsed during a televised speech in parliament, apparently from a bout of flu.

Mr Mubarak has been president since 1981, and is one of the Arab world's longest-serving leaders.

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