Saudi heir apparent dies

2012-06-16 11:42

Saudi Crown Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz has died at a hospital in Switzerland, the royal court has announced. He was 78.

A special funeral prayer is to be held for him tomorrow in the holy city of Mecca, the court added.

It did not specify the cause of his death.

Naif was appointed the oil-rich country’s heir apparent in October after the death of his brother, Sultan.

Earlier this year, he went to the United States to undergo what the royal court called “scheduled medical tests.”

He served as interior minister since 1975 and became a second deputy prime minister in 2009.

His appointment as heir to the throne raised concerns, with some pro-reform analysts saying he could halt reforms introduced by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz.

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