Twins who shared body and head die almost three weeks after surgery

Australian conjoined twins Hope and Faith, who shared a body and skull but had separate brains and identical faces, have died almost three weeks after they were born in Sydney, medical officials said on Tuesday.

The girls, who were born six weeks early by emergency caesarean, were with their parents - Renee Young and Simon Howie - when they passed away, the Nine television network reported.

"It is with great sadness that we share this news with you," said the broadcaster, which has had access to the parents before and after the birth.

Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney's west, where the sisters were undergoing treatment after their birth in early May, confirmed the deaths but said the parents were not releasing further information.

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Australian twins surgery