King Fahd, Saudi Arabia’s ruler since 1982, has died.
Crown Prince Abdullah was swiftly pronounced monarch.
Fahd, who was believed to be 83 and had been in poor health, had entered hospital on May 27 with acute pneumonia. A medical source said he died at around 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT).
A Saudi official said Fahd’s funeral would take place on Tuesday to give time for foreign dignitaries to arrive.
State television said prayers for his soul would take place at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque in Riyadh on Tuesday afternoon, adding that Saudis would pledge allegiance to the new king and his crown prince on Wednesday.
Ordinary Saudis said they were saddened, but not surprised, by Fahd’s death. Over the past decade, the wheelchair-bound king’s public appearances had become increasingly rare. He chaired occasional cabinet meetings but barely spoke in public.
May God rest his soul in peace…