Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died

King Abdullah, the King of Saudi Arabia, passed away in the early hours of this morning after suffering from an infection of the lung.

King Abdullah
King Abdullah

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died.

Abdullah - who has ruled the country since 2005 - is believed to have been aged 90 when he passed away in hospital from a lung infection in the early hours of this morning (23.01.15).

His half-brother Salman, 79, has now been confirmed as the new King and has vowed maintain the same policies as Abdullah and their predecessors.

Speaking in a broadcast on state television he said: "We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment."

King Abdullah's exact time of death was confirmed in a statement from the Saudi royal family's Allegiance Council.

It reads: "His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 01.00 this morning."

A number of world leaders including US President Barack Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron have since offered their condolences.

In a touching tribute, Obama said: "As a leader, he was always candid and had the courage of his convictions. One of those convictions was his steadfast and passionate belief in the importance of the US-Saudi relationship as a force for stability and security in the Middle East and beyond."

David Cameron said that Abdulla would be remembered for his "commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths."

Britain's Prince Charles is expected to attend the funeral service later today (23.01.15) which will see the late King's body laid to rest in an unmarked grave, in keeping with tradition.

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