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Panama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega 'critical' after surgery

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega suffered a haemorrhage after surgery on Tuesday to remove a benign brain tumour and was in a critical condition, his daughters said.

Thays and Sandra Noriega told reporters at the Santo Tomas public hospital in Panama City that their 83-year-old father was returned to the operating room after being in intensive care earlier.

Noriega, who had been in prison for corruption and the killings of opponents during his 1983-89 regime, was transferred to house arrest on January 29 to prepare for the procedure, which was originally scheduled for mid-February.

Noriega, a former general, was ousted by a US invasion in 1989 and jailed for years in the United States on drug charges.

He was then imprisoned in France for money laundering, before being returned in 2011 to Panama, where he had already been convicted in absentia.

AP

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