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Saudi Arabia's King Fahd Dead at 82

Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, a victim of ill health for years, died early today (Monday) in Riyadh.

The Saudi royal court announced the king's death and said Crown Prince Abdullah, Fahd's brother, has assumed the throne. The crown prince has been Saudi Arabia's de-facto ruler since Fahd suffered a stroke 10 years ago.

Officials say the monarch died at the King Faisal Specialized Hospital in Riyadh, where he had been admitted in late May for unspecified medical tests.

Saudi state television interrupted its regular programing and began broadcasting verses of the Koran.

King Fahd was 82 years old. He had been proclaimed the fifth king of Saudi Arabia in 1982.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of oil. Government officials say the monarch's death will not affect long-standing Saudi policies aimed at ensuring stability in oil markets worldwide.