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Mandela Recovering After Gallstones Removed
Nelson Mandela is recovering from a successful operation to have gallstones removed, the South African government has confirmed.
The 94-year-old former president has been in hospital with a lung infection for a week.
"The former president underwent a procedure via endoscopy to have the gallstones removed ... The procedure was successful and Madiba is recovering," the government statement said, referring to Mr Mandela by his clan name.
Mr Mandela was admitted to the 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria on December 8 for tests, which revealed the recurrence of the infection.
Doctors wanted to treat him for this first before carrying out the gallstones procedure, the government said.
Mr Mandela's latest hospital stay has caused growing concern in South Africa, which idolises him as the nation's first democratically-elected leader after the apartheid era.
He made his last public appearance when his country hosted the 2010 World Cup football tournament.
In January 2011, he was admitted to a Johannesburg hospital for what officials initially described as tests but turned out to be an acute respiratory infection.
The chaos that followed saw the South African military take charge of his care and the government control information about his health.
South African President Jacob Zuma has wished Mr Mandela a "speedy recovery".