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Saudi King Abdullah buried in Riyadh

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 01:15

The man who ruled Saudi Arabia as king or de facto regent since the mid 1990's is buried in a simple shroud in an unmarked grave, according to strict Wahhabi tradition. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Saudi King Abdullah was buried Friday in an unassuming ceremony, in keeping with strict Wahhabi tradition. His body was wrapped in a simple shroud and carried by relatives for burial in an unmarked grave. He was thought to be 91 and died Friday after a short illness. His brother, Salman, takes over as the new king, pledging continuity in energy and foreign policy in - this - the world's biggest oil exporter. Abdullah ruled as king or as de facto regent since the mid 1990's, which means in a country with a young population, many Saudis can't recall a time before his rule. His legacy was in trying overhaul the kingdom's economic and social systems ... creating private sector jobs to help address a looming demographic crisis. But his reforms didn't stretch into politics... and after the Arab Spring, his security forces clamped down on all forms of dissent. Plunging oil prices mean the royal family will increasingly struggle to maintain generous spending on social benefits for ordinary Saudis -- potentially undermining its future legitimacy in a country with no elections.

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Saudi King Abdullah buried in Riyadh

Friday, January 23, 2015 - 01:15