Saddam 'recovered fully after op'

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The Independent Online

Saddam Hussein underwent an operation to repair a hernia about 10 days ago but has made a full recovery, Iraqi sources said today.

Saddam Hussein underwent an operation to repair a hernia about 10 days ago but has made a full recovery, Iraqi sources said today.

The ousted dictator was taken to the Ibn Sina hospital near the US-controlled Green Zone for the procedure, which was performed by Iraqi doctors, according to sources close to the Human Rights Ministry.

The operation lasted about an hour and Saddam was returned to his cell the same day, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

Efforts to contact US officials were unsuccessful because their offices were closed for the day.

Saddam has been in US custody since 13 December when he was captured by American troops in a hole near his hometown of Tikrit. He is believed to be held in an American-guarded facility near Baghdad International Airport.

He appeared in court in July for a preliminary hearing into charges for which the government intends to prosecute him because of alleged crimes committed during his rule.

A delegation of the International Committee for the Red Cross met with Saddam in prison in early October, spokeswoman Nada Doumani said.

In July, Iraq's human rights minister, Bakhtiar Amin, was quoted as saying Saddam was being treated for high blood pressure and a chronic prostate infection and was suffering from a hernia.

Doctors gave him antibiotics and performed tests to make sure he has nothing more serious, such as cancer. "To be 100 percent sure he has to do a biopsy," Newsday quoted Amin as saying. "He refused a biopsy. He didn't want to."

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