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Mandela, 93, hospitalized with stomach ailment

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2007 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reacts as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, waves farewell after a meeting at the Nelson Mandela Foundation building in Johannesburg, South Africa. Former South African President Nelson Mandela has been hospitalized with a stomach ailment, according to a government statement issued Saturday Feb. 25, 2012 about the 93-year-old anti-apartheid icon. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, file)

JOHANNESBURG – Former South African President Nelson Mandela was hospitalized Saturday for a test to determine what is behind an undisclosed stomach ailment, and the country’s current leader said the much beloved 93-year-old icon was in no danger.

Mandela, a Nobel peace laureate who spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, has officially retired and last appeared in public in July 2010. He became South Africa’s first black president in 1994 and served one five-year term.

Mandela “has had a long-standing abdominal complaint and doctors feel it needs proper specialist medical attention,” President Jacob Zuma said in a statement Saturday, asking that Mandela’s privacy be respected. Zuma later added that Mandela had undergone a planned, undisclosed “diagnostic procedure.” AP