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Nation of Islam Says Louis Farrakhan Recovering From 12-Hour Operation

Minister Louis Farrakhan, who recently ceded leadership of the Nation of Islam to an executive board because of ill health, has undergone a 12-hour operation, the organization said Saturday.

Physicians have told Farrakhan's family they were pleased with the operation's outcome but will monitor him closely for the next 24 to 48 hours, the Chicago-based group said in a statement.

No other details were released, and a man who answered the telephone at the office of Farrakhan's chief of staff declined to reveal the nature of the surgery or where it was performed.

Farrakhan, 73, wrote in a Sept. 11 letter to followers that he was anemic and 20 pounds lighter because of complications from an ulcer in the anal area. He had surgery in 2000 for prostate cancer.

He turned leadership of the Nation of Islam over to an executive board while he recovered, saying the movement must prove that it "is more than the charisma, eloquence and personality" of one person.

The Nation of Islam and the movement's newspaper, the Final Call, posted Saturday's statement on their Web sites, but did not give additional details.

A spokesman for the Final Call did not immediately return a telephone call Saturday from The Associated Press.