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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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Saudi King Abdullah dead at 90

The new king is Crown Prince Salman

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King Abdullah ibn Abdilazīz of Saudi Arabia, known in the kingdom as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has died at an age of 90, state TV said early Friday. Saudi television cut to Koranic verses early on Friday, which often signifies death of a senior royal, Reuters news agency reported.

The cause of his death was not immediately released by the state. He had been in a Riyadh hospital since December suffering from pneumonia.

Abdullah, the force behind OPEC and a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda, came to power in 2005 after his half-brother King Fahd died. But he had been the kingdom's de facto ruler since a stroke incapacitated his brother 10 years earlier.

Abdullah was succeeded by his 79-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, the royal court said in a statement, Agence France-Press reported. Abdullah's half-brother Moqren was named crown prince.

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