Saudi King Abdullah dies at 90, brother Salman to take over

Global News

WATCH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has died at the age of 90. NBC’s Richard Engel has more on how he will be remembered. 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the powerful U.S. ally who joined Washington’s fight against al-Qaida and sought to modernize the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom with incremental but significant reforms, including nudging open greater opportunities for women, has died, according to Saudi state TV. He was 90.

Abdullah’s death was announced on Saudi state TV by a presenter who said the king died at 1 a.m. on Friday. His successor was announced as 79-year-old half-brother, Prince Salman, a Royal Court statement carried on the Saudi Press Agency said.

READ MORE: Quick facts about Saudi Arabia’s new ruler King Salman

Salman was Abdullah’s crown prince and had recently taken on some of the ailing king’s responsibilities. The 69 year-old Prince Muqrin, a former head of intelligence in Saudi Arabia…

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