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Iraqi President Undergoes Heart Surgery in US


Iraqi officials say President Jalal Talabani has undergone heart surgery and is recovering in a U.S. hospital.

Officials of Mr. Talabani's political party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said Thursday the operation took place on August 6 at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. They said the surgery was a success and that Mr. Talabani will soon be released.

An official who declined to be named said the Iraqi president will travel to Washington later this week before returning to Iraq.

Mr. Talabani left Iraq for the United States on August 2. His office said he would undergo medical tests and treatment for his knee.

The Mayo Clinic confirmed that Mr. Talabani was a patient but gave no further information.

Mr. Talabani, an ethnic Kurd, has been president of Iraq since 2005.

The Iraqi leader was in the United States in June and met with U.S. President George Bush. Reports at that time also said he underwent medical treatment.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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