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via BBC News

Nelson Mandela is recovering well in hospital after having diagnostic abdominal surgery, South African officials have said.

Defense Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the 93-year-old former president had undergone a laparoscopy but was “as fine as can be at his age”.

The procedure involves inserting a tiny camera through the abdomen or pelvis to carry out an internal investigation.

The Nobel Prize laureate is expected to be released from hospital by Monday.

Ms Sisulu, whose ministry is responsible for Mr Mandela’s health, denied media reports that he had been operated on for a hernia but gave no further details on his condition.

She said only he had been suffering from “ongoing discomfort” on a regular basis.

“The only way that we could finally get to the bottom of this is by taking him to hospital and having a number of tests to find out if in fact what was prescribed, what we were giving him, was working and if we could not make it any better,” Ms Sisulu told reporters.

“He’s as fine as can be at his age – and handsome. If we had it our way, he would be home by now.”

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