Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has died at the age of 90, according to Saudi media.
An announcement, made by state TV early on Friday, also said that his 77-year-old half brother, Salman, has succeeded him.
“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 1 a.m. this morning,” said the statement.
The king reportedly died at hospital, where he had been receiving medical treatment for several weeks.
The late Saudi king’s funeral ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon.
The official statement further noted that the late king’s half brother Muqrin has been named the new crown prince. The new Saudi king has reportedly called on the royal family’s Allegiance Council to recognize Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.
King Abdullah, who was admitted to the King Abdulaziz Medical City in the capital Riyadh in late December, had been suffering from pneumonia and was reportedly breathing with the help of a tube.
Examination “revealed pneumonia, which required the provisional insertion of a tube,” the Saudi royal court said in a statement on January 2.
The Saudi king had two operations in October 2011 and November 2012 because of “ligament slackening” in the upper back.
The Saudi king’s death has raised concerns about the future of the oil-rich country in the face of anti-government demonstrations.
Salman was named Saudi crown prince in June 2012 after the death of Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. Salman has recently represented King Abdullah at most public events because of the monarch’s ailing health.
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