King Abdullah
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz waits before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (not pictured) at his desert encampment in Rawdat al-Khuraim in this January 5, 2014 file photo. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has died, state television reported early on January 23, 2015, and his brother Salman became king, it said in a statement attributed to Salman. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool/Files

Saudi Arabia state television has announced that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud has died at the age of 90 after battling pneumonia.

He was the kingdom’s sixth absolute monarch and head of the ruling House of Saud monarchy for nearly a decade. Abudllah bin Abdulaziz al Saud’s younger brother, Crown Prince Salman bin Adbel Aziz, ascended to the throne and will now take over as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Though Abdullah only officially took the throne in 2005, he had acted as ruling monarch for nearly a decade after his half-brother King Fahd Abdel Aziz suffered a debilitating stroke. Between his official and de facto years on the throne, Abdullah ruled Saudi Arabia during the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Arab Spring and rise of the Islamic State group.

King Abdullah was often regarded as a reformer, compared to the previous Saudi Arabian conservative leaders and constituents.

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