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Saudi King Recovering in Hospital

August 3, 1998

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ Doctors removed fluid from King Fahd’s abdominal cavity today and he was recovering in a Riyadh hospital, a royal statement said.

A medical team at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the capital Riyadh removed pus from the monarch’s abdomen, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

It said the king was not operated on and the procedure was conducted under local anesthesia. It did not elaborate.

``The king is very well and will spend a few days at the hospital before being discharged,″ the statement said.

Saudi officials said earlier that the king was admitted to hospital on Sunday to undergo medical tests but diplomats in the kingdom said he was suffering from an undisclosed illness.

Fahd’s health has been the source of much speculation since he suffered a stroke in November 1995 and, two months later, temporarily handed over power to Crown Prince Abdullah, his half-brother.

Fahd, who is in his mid-70s, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday after being flown to Riyadh from the Red Sea city of Jiddah.

He was accompanied by two of his sons and his brothers, Prince Sultan and Prince Salman. They later were joined by Crown Prince Abdullah. State-run television showed Fahd shaking hands with relatives.

The king was admitted to the same hospital in March for treatment of a gallbladder infection. Fahd has suffered for years from diabetes and arthritis.

He was born in 1924 but the exact date is not known.

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