King Fahd of Saudi Arabia announced dead

Monday, August 1, 2005 File:BushseniorSaudiArabia.jpg

King Fahd (right) meeting with George H. W. Bush in 1990.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

It has been confirmed that King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia has died. There will be no coffin or state funeral for Fahd and he will be buried without a headstone as is customary in Wahhabism, the kingdom's strict version of Islam. Prince Charles and Jacques Chirac will be in attendance.

Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995, and his half-brother, Crown Prince Abdullah, had acted as the de-facto regent of the country.

On May 27, the Saudi government announced that the king had been hospitalized. He remained until his death Monday.

Fahd succeeded King Khalid after being Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister, a position he held since 1975. It is unknown how many women are made widows by the death of King Fahd, but the previous king was reported to have had 145 wives.

Adbullah will be crowned as king in a later ceremony, while Minister of Defence and Aviation Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz has been named the new Crown Prince.

Fahd was the eleventh son of the founder of the Saudi kingdom, King Ibn Saud, and the fifth king of the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia.