Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan ibn Abdulaziz was laid to rest Tuesday following a state funeral attended by hundreds of dignitaries in the Persian Gulf kingdom’s capital of Riyadh, according to international news service reports.
Sultan, 80, was in the U.S. for medical tests when he died Saturday. The nature of his illness was never officially acknowledged.
The prince, who was half-brother to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and first in line to the Saudi throne, had served as the nation’s defense minister for five decades.
His death will require a new heir to be named. The most likely choice, according to regional experts, would be Sultan’s brother Prince Nayif ibn Abdulaziz, 76. Nayif serves as interior minister and was promoted to second deputy prime minister by King Abdullah in 2009.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Los Angeles
Photo: The body of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan ibn Abdulaziz, who died in the U.S. on Saturday, arrives at Turki bin Abdullah Mosque for the funeral prayer in Riyadh on Tuesday. Credit: Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters