Saudi King in Intensive Care Unit

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RIYADH – Recent reports say that Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has been taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a Riyadh hospital following surgery.

A Saudi activist on Wednesday announced on microblogging service, Twitter, that the country’s princes have been visiting the National Guard’s King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh along with King Abdullah’s eldest son Prince Mutaib bin Abdullah. 

The activist, identified as al-Motjahem (an Arabic nickname meaning ‘grim’), said that contrary to reports by the country’s media, King Abdullah is in the ICU. 

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), King Abdullah was admitted to hospital on November 16 to undergo back surgery to tighten a loose ligament. 

Failing health, old age as well as the deaths of the king’s half-brothers have raised concerns about the future of the oil-rich country in the face of anti-government demonstrations over the kingdom’s suppressive policies vis-à-vis the populace.

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who was named heir apparent following the death of former Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz in June, normally acts as King Abdullah’s deputy in his absence.

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