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Italy's Berlusconi has minor surgery on hand

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi underwent minor surgery on his left hand Monday to treat tendinitis and will have to rest for a few days, doctors said.

The 15-minute operation was successful, said Dr. Alberto Lazzerini, who performed the surgery at the Humanitas hospital near Milan.

"The patient will have to observe a period of rehabilitation and a few days of rest," Lazzerini said.

Berlusconi, 74, left the hospital shortly after 4 p.m., waving his right hand from his car window but making no comments. The premier had been given a local anesthetic during the procedure, the ANSA news agency reported.

Earlier in the day, Berlusconi was in Rome to pay tribute to four soldiers who were killed in a bomb and shooting attack in Afghanistan over the weekend. Their bodies were flown to the Ciampino military airport in Rome.

In December, Berlusconi was hospitalized for a few days following an attack in Milan that broke his nose and two teeth. In the attack, a mentally unstable man used a souvenir statuette of Milan's cathedral to strike his face during a political rally.