Minister leads surgery to separate Siamese twins

Updated 23 December 2012
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Minister leads surgery to separate Siamese twins

Surgery to separate conjoined twins, Abdullah and Salman, an operation undertaken at the order of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, began at the National Guards’ King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh on Friday.
Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah heads the surgical team, which includes 30 specialists in addition to other medical staff.
The nine-hour surgery on the twins involves eight stages beginning with complete anesthetizing of the patients. The actual separation begins in the fourth stage of the operation. The next stage involves the repair of the separated parts, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Preliminary investigations show that the surgery has a 70 percent possibility of success. Medical and nursing students are also present at the theater.
With its advanced facilities and experienced doctors, the King Abdulaziz Medical City occupies a prominent place globally in the field of separating Siamese twins with a record 28 successful operations.
Al-Rabeeah was recently awarded the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Science in appreciation of his contributions to the development of the health sector and to other humanitarian medical services on a global level. This award is for distinguished personalities who have dedicated their lives to the development of medical science in the Arab region.
Since its establishment in 1990, around 28 physicians and volunteers have won the prize. Winners have included Americans, Britons, Australians, Italians, Germans and a Finn besides winners from the Middle East.
Al-Rabeeah became the Kingdom's health minister in 2009. Prior to his appointment as minister, he was the chief executive officer of National Guard Health Affairs at the King Abdulaziz Medical City.
Globally renowned for the separation of conjoined twins, Al-Rabeeah has successfully separated conjoined twins from countries such as Poland, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Al-Rabeeah performed the first separation surgery at Riyadh’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital in December 1990. The operation, which was successful, was performed on Saudi twin girls joined at the stomach.
Under the leadership of Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia has built a team of top surgeons specialized in the separation of twins. In total, team members have experience treating 63 twins from 17 countries.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 5 min 40 sec ago
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.