Richard Holbrooke critical after surgery for torn aorta

WASHINGTON — Veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke, a special US envoy on the Afghanistan war, remained in critical condition Sunday after surgery to fix a tear in the large artery that moves blood from the heart.
President Barack Obama said in a statement that he and first lady Michelle Obama were praying for Holbrooke's recovery. He called Holbrooke "a towering figure in American foreign policy" who has been a critical player in developing the administration's policy on Afghanistan.The 69-year-old Holbrooke underwent an additional procedure Sunday to improve circulation. The State Department said he received calls from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
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