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Merkel injured while skiing in Switzerland

(Xinhua)    08:37, January 07, 2014
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File photo taken on Dec. 9, 2013 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending a party conference of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, Germany. Merkel has injured her pelvis while skiing in Switzerland, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday. (Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

BERLIN, Jan. 6 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has injured her pelvis in a cross-country skiing accident in Switzerland and will have to cancel several meetings, her spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday.

The accident happened in the alpine Engadine region of eastern Switzerland during Merkel's Christmas holiday in December. Her fall occurred "at lower speed," Seibert said.

Merkel first thought it was just a bruise. After her return to Berlin, the chancellor sought medical treatment and it was determined she suffered "a severe bruise linked with an incomplete bone fracture in her left rear pelvic area."

Seibert said Merkel now needs help with walking and will have to remain lying down as much as possible in the next three weeks.

"The chancellor is fully capable of acting as well as communicating," the spokesman added. "Now she is following doctors' advice to allow an optimal healing from the fracture."

As a result, several meetings have been cancelled, including a visit to Poland scheduled for Wednesday and a meeting with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Be