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Gaza conjoined twins survive separation

A life-saving operation to separate a pair of Palestinian conjoined twins from Gaza has been successful, doctors say.

The baby girls, named as Farah and Haneen, underwent surgery at King Abdullah Children’s Hospital in Riyadh.

They shared a leg but had separate hearts and lungs.

The girls were flown to Saudi Arabia with their father after doctors warned their lives would be at risk if they remained in the Gaza Stip.

The girls, who were born in October, were joined at the abdomen and lower body.

Doctors announced that the surgery had been a success in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

The agency said the operation required separating the intestine, liver and pelvic wall, and involved nine stages.

The twins were flown to Saudi Arabia in December for the treatment, after being transported from Gaza to Jordan, Saudi media say.

Facilities to treat their complex condition were not available in Gaza, where the UN says quality of health services has deteriorated due to a blockade, repeated cycles of armed conflict, Palestinian political divisions and budget cuts.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a land and sea blockade on Gaza for a decade in an attempt to prevent attacks by militants based there.

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