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Saudi Arabia's King Fahd Dead at 82


Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, a victim of ill health for years, died early Monday in Riyadh.

The Saudi royal court announced the king's death and said Crown Prince Abdullah, King Fahd's brother, has assumed the throne. He has been Saudi Arabia's de-facto ruler since King Fahd suffered a stroke 10 years ago.

The royal court also announced that King Abdullah has selected Prince Sultan Ibn Abdelaziz as Crown Prince. He has been the kingdom's defense minister.

Officials say the monarch died at the King Faisal Specialized Hospital in Riyadh, where he had been admitted in late May for unspecified medical tests.

King Fahd was 82 years old. He was proclaimed the fifth king of Saudi Arabia in 1982.

Arab League Secretary General has issued a statement ordering three days of mourning throughout the Arab world for the late king, who was the Custodian of the Two Muslim Holy Shrines (Mecca and Medina).

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of oil. Government officials say the monarch's death will not affect long-standing Saudi policies aimed at ensuring stability in oil markets worldwide.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

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