Saudia Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz died at the age of 90 on Thursday according to Saudi television. King Abdullah’s successor, half-brother Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz, became king immediately after his death. President Obama praised King Abdullah for being a strong leader advocating for peace in the Middle East, and a reformer who pushed his country to greater engagement with the world. King Abdullah became king of the oil-rich nation, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, in August 2005. However, he had been running Saudi Arabia since 1996, after his half-brother King Fahd’s stroke.
In Islamic tradition, King Abdullah will be washed and dressed in the last robe he wore. His body will be transported to the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh and prayers will be held at the mosque as well as mosques throughout the country. King Abdullah will be buried at the Al-Qud cemetery in Riyadh on Friday. NBC News reports that Saudi Arabia faces enormous challenges in the region still feeling the aftershocks of the Arab Spring. It also faces challenges trying to stop the allure of radical militant Islamist groups like ISIS among its population. Read more at Examiner.com
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