Riyadh: After battling for life in a Riyadh hospital since December, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz breathed his last on Friday January 23, 1am.
His funeral is set for this afternoon in Mecca. Abdullah came to power in 2005 after his half-brother King Fahd died. He is the man behind OPEC and a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Qaeda.
Abdullah, thought to have been born in 1923, had ruled Saudi Arabia as king since 2006, but had run the country as de facto regent for a decade before that after his predecessor King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke. Abdullah was succeeded by his 79-year-old half-brother, Crown Prince Salman, the royal court said in a statement. King Salman has named his half-brother Muqrin as his crown prince and heir.
- Published in Saudi Arabia