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Saudi king seen on TV amid health questions

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November 28, 2012 10:28 AM EST | AP

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi state television has broadcast the first public images of King Abdullah since the 87-year-old monarch underwent what was described as back surgery 11 days ago.

The video shows the king sitting down, as members of the royal family greet him and kiss his hand in a hospital suite in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The Wednesday broadcast appeared aimed at quieting speculation about the overall health of Abdullah, a key U.S. ally in the region. The official Saudi Press Agency says the top-level delegation was "reassured" about Abdullah's recovery.

The king underwent more than 10 hours of surgery Nov. 17 for what officials said was a procedure to secure a loose vertebra.

The king had back operations in 2010 and twice in 2011.