According to Saudi Arabia state television, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died. His half-brother, Crown Prnce and Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz has been named the new King, and has asked for the support of the Allegiance Council for their family to support Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as the new heir and Crown Prince. King Abdulla was 91 years old when he died, after being admitted to the hospital on December 31. State television has been broadcasting recitations of the Quran, praying for his health, since he was admitted. He has been in power in Saudi Arabia since 2005.
King Salman is currently 79 years old. He formerly held the role of defense minister for the country before assuming the role of Deputy Prime Minister. He is a son of Hassa Al Sudairi, who is reported to have been the favorite wife of the former King, his father. No announcement has been made about the specific cause of death for King Abdullah. Reports at the time of his entry into the hospital simply stated that he was undergoing testing.
By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of U.S. State Department – Public Domain