Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in Intensive Care Unit

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has been admitted to an intensive care unit in a hospital, media reported on Monday.

The King has been admitted to hospital for more medical tests after complaining from a bout of back pain.

“Doctors have advised the 86-year-old monarch, who is widely believed to be in poor health, to rest more because of a slipped disc, the official SPA news agency said on Friday.

“The king felt more pain in his back, so further tests were carried out at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh,” SPA reported.

“It appears he has a blood clot in addition to his slipped disc, which is pressuring the nerves so the medical team advised him to rest and monitor the situation.”

Media speculation on the king’s deteriorating health reignited on Wednesday, when the king resigned as head of the country’s National Guard and transferred the influential post to his son Prince Mitab bin Abdullah, 57, in an apparent sign that the elderly monarch is beginning to lessen some of his duties.

King Abdullah has been head of the National Guard since 1962.

He has also handed over his traditional supervisory duties for the annual hajj pilgrimage to his deputy prime minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

The king’s health problems come while Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, also in his 80s, has been abroad for much of the past two years as he sought health treatment for an unannounced illness widely believed to be cancer.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, the half brother of Saudi King Abdullah was announced dead.

The 79-year-old Nayef, who was also the long-serving interior minister of Saudi Arabia, recently left the kingdom for medical treatment and was seen in Switzerland a few days ago.

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