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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- Nelson Mandela was back in the hospital for the third time in four months Thursday, and the 94-year-old former South African president was reported to be responding well to treatment for a chronic lung infection.

South Africa s presidency said that doctors were acting with extreme caution because of the advanced age of the anti-apartheid leader, who has become increasingly frail in recent years.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was admitted just before midnight to a hospital in Pretoria, the South African capital. He has been particularly vulnerable to respiratory problems since contracting tuberculosis during his 27-year imprisonment for fighting white racist rule in his country.

The doctors advise that former President Nelson Mandela is responding positively to the treatment he is undergoing for a recurring lung infection, the presidency said in a statement. He remains under treatment and observation in hospital.

Mandela, who became South Africa s first black president in 1994, is a revered figure in his homeland, which has named buildings and other places after him and uses his image on national bank notes.

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