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Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz Dies At 90


King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud, who insulated Saudi Arabia from the Islamist and democratic forces roiling the Middle East in the name of maintaining stability, died at age 90.

A statement made available on Friday by Royal House said his brother, Salman had become king.

Before the announcement, Saudi television cut to Koranic verses, which often signifies the death of a senior royal.

King Abdullah, who was said to be aged about 90, had been in hospital for several weeks suffering from a lung infection.

Abdullah came to the throne in 2005 but had suffered frequent bouts of ill health in recent years.

King Salman, 79, had recently taken on the ailing monarch’s responsibilities.

The late king’s half brother Muqrin, who is in his late 60s, has been named the new crown prince, the official statement said.

Saudi Arabia could face an increasing internal security problem following the death of King Abdullah

All three are sons of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, usually referred to as Ibn Saud, who died in 1953.

King Salman called on the royal family’s Allegiance Council to recognize Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.

“His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 1am this morning,” the statement said.


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