News agency: Saudi king has successful surgery

By the Associated Press | October 20, 2011 | 7:40 AM EDT

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia's aging ruler had successful back surgery on Monday at the King Abdel Aziz medical compound in Riyadh, the official Saudi Press Agency said.

SPA quoted a Royal Palace statement as saying the 86-year-old King Abdullah's surgery was to treat a loose vertebra in his back and that the surgery was "completed with success, thank God."

The king arrived at the hospital Sunday night. A picture distributed by SPA showed him using a walking stick, but otherwise appearing healthy.

Abdullah had two back surgeries late last year in New York City.