Fahd in critical condition, might undergo gall bladder surgery

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd was in critical condition with a gall bladder infection Monday and might have to undergo surgery, hospital officials said.
An American medical team was monitoring the condition of Fahd, who is in his mid-70s, and was expected to decide shortly whether to remove the gall bladder, said the officials, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. The surgery was considered risky because of Fahd’s age and frail health.
Meanwhile, the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital of Riyadh stopped all visits and calls and barred relatives and family members from seeing the monarch.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil-producing nation and a U.S. ally.
A royal court statement issued Monday said the king was to undergo hospital tests after suffering from a gall bladder infection, but gave no information on his condition. Saudi state television and radio reported the statement at the top of their news broadcasts.
A statement issued 11 days ago said King Fahd was on vacation outside Riyadh. It was not clear when he returned to the capital.