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Berlusconi undergoes face operation

Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has undergone four hours of face surgery to repair damage he suffered when a man hurled a statuette at him in 2009.

The 74-year-old was operated on under general anaesthetic in Milan, said a statement quoting his personal doctor Alberto Zangrillo.

Mr Berlusconi suffered a broken nose and two broken teeth when a man hurled a miniature statue of Milan's cathedral at him at close range at the end of a political rally in Milan on December 13, 2009. The attacker had a history of psychological problems.

The operation "became necessary to restore the anatomy and jaw function that had been gravely compromised" in the attack, said the brief statement.

Without detail, it said the operation involved a bone transplant and an implant.

Mr Berlusconi spent about a month out of public view after the attack. Photos of his bloodied face and shocked expression made the front pages of newspapers around the world at the time.

The premier had heart surgery in the United States in 2006 to install a pacemaker.

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