Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died in hospital while undergoing treatment for pneumonia. An official statement has named Saudi Crown Prince Salman the new king.
“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 on Saudi Arabian state TV channel attributed to Salman.
Prior to the confirmation, conflicting reports suggested that the Saudis had initially dismissed the news of the king’s death on social media. However, Saudi television cut to Koranic verses early on Friday – a practice known to signify the death of a senior royal, Reuters reported.
King Abdullah had been in hospital for several weeks as he had been suffering from pneumonia and temporarily needed to breathe through a tube on account of his illness.
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