The king of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, is clinically dead, according to Al-Sharq al-Awsat daily news.
The king underwent back surgery in Riyadh on November 17, but complications arose, leading to his death at the National Guard’s King Abdul Aziz Medical City.
Abdullah inherited the crown in 2005. His brother, Crown Prince Salman, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Defense, had assured Saudis and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council just the day before that Abdullah was well and in good health.
Analysts say Salman acted to ensure national stability to preserve smooth sales of oil. Saudia Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, holds over 20% of the world’s petroleum, and is the epicenter of Islam, being home to the pilgrimage city of Mecca.
Salman is expected to take over Abdullah’s duties, as well as his crown.