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Saudi Arabia Begins Funeral of King Fahd

  • VOA News

Muslim leaders from across the globe are in the Saudi capital to bid farewell to King Fahd, who died Monday in Riyadh.

Saudi television showed a procession of Muslim men carrying the draped body of the late king into a mosque in central Riyadh, as throngs of Saudi military mingled in the huge crowds. In line with the kingdom's Wahabi school of Islam, non-Muslim leaders were not permitted to attend funeral prayers or burial ceremonies.

Western leaders and dignitaries, including French President Jacques Chirac, Britain's Prince Charles and a high-level delegation from Washington were in the capital to pay respects.

King Fahd, who had suffered declining health in recent months, was to be buried in an unmarked simple grave, following funeral prayers.

The procession of mourners was led by Fahd's brother, the former Crown Prince Abdullah, who has assumed the Saudi throne. The new king has been the country's de facto ruler since King Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995.

Information for this report is provided by AFP.

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