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Mandela leaves hospital

After spending weeks in the hospital due to gall stones and a lung infection, former South African President Nelson Mandela has been released from hospital. Doctors had been extra cautious due to Mandela's age.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Wednesday's announcement, first carried by a local South African new agency SANA and then confirmed by the government, will bring with it a sigh of relief for Mandela's admirers in South Africa and around the world.

Mandela and media - analyst Dan Silke

An outpouring of support for Mandela came when he was first admitted to the hospital on December 8. He was suffering from a lung infection and also had an operation for gall stones.

Reports from doctors at the hospital indicated that Mandela's condition had been improving in recent days, but the decision was made to keep him in the hospital over Christmas just to be on the safe side.

On Tuesday, the South African government said that Mandela's recovery was going well and that he was in good spirits.

Mandela will continue to receive treatment at home in the Johannesburg suburb where he lives.

The former anti-apartheid president of South Africa and Nobel peace laureate is 94.

mz/ipj (Reuters, dpa, AP)

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