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Nepal PM in hospital after illness, no danger

Written by: Staff

Kathmandu, Jul 3: Nepal's ailing Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala was rushed to a hospital in Kathmandu today after he complained of chest problems, but was not in any danger, his family said.

The 84-year-old veteran politician was taken to the Gangalal Heart Centre where an x-ray of his chest was done, his daughter Sujata told sources.

''He has chest infection,'' she said. ''It is not serious. We took him to the hospital as a precautionary measure. He is okay now after being given antibiotics.'' The prime minister underwent prostate surgery at a hospital in Bangkok last month.

Koirala, who was appointed prime minister in April after King Gyanendra relinquished power following weeks of mass protests, has been avoiding public events due to his poor health in recent months.

His swearing in ceremony as prime minister was delayed by a few days in April because of bronchitis.

Koirala, serving his fifth term as premier, held landmark talks with Maoist rebel chief Prachanda last month and the two sides agreed to include the guerrillas in the interim administration.

That move is seen as a first step towards ending a decade-old Maoist insurgency in which more than 13,000 people have been killed.

Koirala is scheduled to present his government's annual policy statement in parliament tomorrow for the first time after the assembly stripped King Gyanendra of his legislative roles and stripped him of his control over the army.

It was not immediately known if Koirala would be able to attend parliament tomorrow.


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