The king of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has died, royal officials have announced, weeks after he was admitted to hospital. King Abdullah, who was said to be aged about 90, had been suffering from a lung infection. BBC reports that a statement early on Friday said his 79-year-old half brother, Salman, had become king. Abdullah came to the throne in 2005 but had suffered frequent bouts of ill health in recent years. King Salman, 79, had recently taken on the ailing monarch’s responsibilities. Before the announcement, Saudi television cut to Koranic verses, which often signifies the death of a senior royal. The late king’s half brother Muqrin, who is in his late 60s, has been named the new crown prince, the official statement said. All three are sons of the founder of modern Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz, usually referred to as Ibn Saud, who died in 1953. King Salman called on the royal family’s Allegiance Council to recognise Muqrin as his crown prince and heir. “His Highness Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and all members of the family and the nation mourn the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who passed away at exactly 01:00 this morning,” the statement said.