Thai king leaves hospital after weeks of treatment

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BANGKOK, Nov 7 (Reuters) Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej waved to cheering supporters and took photographs of them as he left a Bangkok hospital today, three weeks after he was admitted with a blood clot in his brain. Wearing a pink shirt and blazer, the 79-year-old monarch abandoned his wheelchair and walked slowly with the aid of a walker, chatting briefly with well-wishers at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital. People, most wearing yellow, the colour associated with his birthday, shouted ''Long Live the King'', waved his portrait and sang royal anthems as the world's longest-reigning monarch paid his respect to statues of his late parents.

King Bhumibol, a semi-divine figure respected in every Thai's home, had been recovering in hospital since Oct 13 and more than 1 million Thais have signed books wishing him a speedy recovery.

A majestic royal barge procession, held to celebrate his coming 80th birthday on Dec 5 and in which he would normally ride, swept along Bangkok's Chao Phraya river without him on Monday.

REUTERS RC RN1129

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