Saudi King Shah Abdullah dies; Salman becomes new king

Late Saudi King Shah Abdullah. — AFP/File

Saudi Arab
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died early on Friday and his brother Salman became king, the royal court in the world’s top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam said in an official statement.

King Salman has named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir, rapidly moving to forestall any fears of a succession crisis at a moment when Saudi Arabia faces unprecedented turmoil on its borders.

“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 am this morning,” said the statement carried by state television.

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