|Late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia|
Inna LiLlahi Wa Inna IIaihi Rajiun (From God we came and to him we shall return)
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Dies; Witnessed A New EraSaudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died. The health of Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud had previously been the subject of rumors; word emerged earlier this month that he was indeed ill with a lung infection.
Abdullah was 90 years old. He ruled Saudi Arabia for nearly 10 years, having assumed the throne after his brother King Fahd died in 2005.
The kingdom's new ruler is King Salman, Abdullah's half-brother, according to state TV. Salman is reportedly 79.
The news has just emerged. We'll update this post as we learn new details.
"Abdullah was born before Saudi Arabia was even a country," NPR's Kelly McEvers reports for our Parallels blog.
But in his lifetime, he saw the country rise to prominence — thanks to the discovery in 1938 of massive oil reserves.
Abdullah's death comes as Saudi Arabia faces two difficult tasks: insulating itself from the civil unrest and terrorist violence that have beset other countries in the region; and maintaining its primacy in the world's oil market.