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Saudi doctors separate conjoined twins from war-torn Yemen

RIYADH (AFP) – Doctors in Saudi Arabia have successfully separated conjoined twins from war-torn Yemen after a “complicated” 15-hour operation, Saudi state media reported yesterday.

The baby boys, Yussef and Yassin, were “conjoined in several organs”, and some 24 doctors were involved in the operation to separate them, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Yemen has been wracked by a brutal seven-year conflict.

More than 150,000 people have died in the violence and the country’s health system has been devastated, in what the United Nations (UN) describes as the world’s worst huma-
nitarian crisis.

Saudi Arabia’s state-run King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) regularly touts its humanitarian assistance to Yemen as evidence of Riyadh’s commitment to alleviating the suffering there.

The centre’s doctors carried out the “four-phase surgery” separating Yussef and Yassin, describing it as “among the most complicated” they had performed, the SPA said yesterday.

Last July Saudi doctors separated a Yemeni baby from her parasitic twin, saying at the time it was their 50th successful operation on conjoined twins.

In December, a separate set of Yemeni twins were separated by doctors in Jordan’s capital Amman before being flown back to Sanaa, according to the UN children’s agency.

Last week Saudi King Salman ordered that yet another set of Yemeni conjoined twins, girls named Mawaddah and Rahmah, be transferred to Riyadh “to conduct medical examinations and check on the possibility” of separation, the SPA reported.

The king “attaches big importance to the Saudi programme for the Siamese twins”, the SPA
report said.