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Sudan's Bashir leaves Saudi Arabia hospital -report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 7 Nov 2012 14:26 GMT
Author: Reuters
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* Bashir has had surgery twice this year

* Officials say president is in good health

KHARTOUM, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir left hospital in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, a day after what state media called a "small successful" operation.

It was the second operation this year for Bashir, 68, who has ruled Sudan for 23 years since taking power in a bloodless 1989 coup. In August, he had surgery on his vocal cords in Qatar, according to a government official.

Officials say Bashir is in good health, but local newspapers and blogs had begun to speculate about his health because he had held fewer public rallies in recent months.

On Tuesday, state news agency SUNA said Bashir had undergone a "small successful" operation in Saudi Arabia, a day after state media reported he would receive a medical checkup and meet the king during his trip.

The state-linked Sudanese Media Centre said in a text message sent to mobile phones on Wednesday that Bashir had left hospital after convalescing.

Bashir has weathered multiple armed insurgencies, years of U.S. trade sanctions, the secession of oil-producing South Sudan last year and an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) on war crimes charges he denies.

Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the ICC and despite the arrest warrant, Bashir has been able to visit countries including Ethiopia, China, Egypt, and Chad among others since it was first issued in 2009. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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