13 nails and five needles have been removed by doctors from a Sri Lankan housemaid. She said her Saudi Arabian employer hammered them into her body.
The injuries were inflicted as a punishment, LP Ariyawathie, 49, told staff at Kamburupitiya Hospital.
X-rays showed that there were 24 nails and needles in her body (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk). The nails were up to 2in (5cm) long, a hospital official said.
According to doctors those remaining inside her body posed no immediate threat to her life.
“The surgery is successful and she is recovering now,” Dr Satharasinghe said, according to news agency Associated Press.
Ariyawathie, a mother of three, underwent a three-hour procedure.
In order to remove the remaining nails, doctors said they would carry out further surgery later.
‘No response yet’
In March, Ariyawathie travelled to Saudi Arabia to become a housemaid.
But when she flew back to Sri Lanka last week, she was admitted to the hospital in the south of the island.
There she told doctors that for more than a month she had undergone abuse.
She could not sit down or walk properly, doctors said.
They added that Ariyawathie was deeply traumatised and unable to give full details of her experience.
In the same time , Sri Lankan authorities have launched an investigation.
“We have launched a strong protest with the Saudi government through the external affairs minister, but there has been no response yet,” Kingsley Ranawaka, chairman of Bureau for Foreign Employment, told the BBC.
Some 1.8 million Sri Lankans are employed abroad, 70% of whom are women.
Although a small number of them work in Singapore and Hong Kong, the majority work as housemaids in the Middle East.