Qatar's former ruler breaks leg in holiday accident
Qatar's former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani has broken a leg while on holiday, government officials said in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement confirmed that the former ruler, known formally as the "Father Emir" in Qatar, had been flown to Switzerland for emergency treatment following the incident at the weekend.
"On Saturday 26 December, His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani was flown to Zurich, Switzerland for emergency treatment after suffering a broken leg while on holiday," read the government statement.
"Following a successful operation, his Highness the Father Emir is currently in Zurich recovering and undergoing physiotherapy treatment."
The royal family were thought to be holidaying at a Moroccan resort in the Atlas mountains, although it is unclear how the sheikh broke his leg.
It was reported on Monday that as many as eight planes belonging to Qatar's royal family had landed in Switzerland over the weekend because of a suspected health emergency.
Swiss civil aviation authorities confirmed that a number of planes from the Qatari royal fleet had made unscheduled landings at the Zurich-Kloten airport overnight from December 25 to 26.
A Swiss foreign ministry spokesman told AFP on Monday that members of the Qatari royal family were staying in the country, but gave no further details.
Thani, who celebrates his 64th birthday on January 1, ruled Qatar from 1995 to 2013, overseeing its transformation into one of the richest countries of the world.
He stepped down from power in June 2013 when he announced in a televised address he would hand power to his son and current ruler, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
© 2015 AFP