23 Jan 2015

Saudi king Abdullah bin Abdulaziz dies aged 90

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died in hospital, royal officials have announced.

A statement, made early on Friday, 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.

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