Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died, state television announced early Friday. He was 90.

Abdullah, who took power in 2005 after the death of his brother King Fahd, was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 31, state media reported at the time. After speculation about his health, all channels of Saudi TV on Friday began broadcasting recitations of the Quran. State television said King Abdullah died of pneumonia.

King Abdullah’s half-brother, Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz, was named as his successor. The 80-year-old former defense minister is one of the sons of Hassa Al Sudairi, who was thought to be the late king’s favorite wife. He and his brothers are known as the Sudairi Seven, and considered the inner circle of the country’s elite.

Source: NBC NEWS

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