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Saudi King Fahd laid to rest

02 August, 2005

Saudi King Fahd laid to rest.
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RIYADH, August 03 (Online): King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who died on Monday, has been buried after a funeral service in the Saudi capital Riyadh. The king had been frail since suffering a stroke in 1995 and had delegated his powers to Crown Prince Abdullah.

The Saudi royal family and Muslim leaders from around the world gathered at Riyadh's grand mosque where the funeral prayers were said.

King Fahd's body arrived at the mosque by ambulance, draped in a brown robe.

After the prayers, it was carried to a cemetery for burial in an unmarked grave.

Roads leading to the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque, where the funeral took place, have been closed and police with sniffer dogs and x-ray equipment are checking vehicles.

As King Fahd's short funeral ceremony, led by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, the country's top cleric, took place in the capital Riyadh, prayers were said in mosques across the desert kingdom.

King Fahd was buried alongside commoners and former kings, including half brothers Saud, Faisal and Khaled, in the al-Oud cemetery, some 5 kilometres (3 miles) from the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque.

"His grave will be like the grave of all Muslims... There is no difference between him and other Muslims," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh said.

Security was beefed up across the capital where foreign dignitaries had gathered to pay their respects.

Among those paying tribute to the king, who had ruled since 1982, were Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, French President Jacques Chirac, Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Jordan's King Abdullah.

An official ceremony confirming King Abdullah as the next Saudi king is due to be held on Wednesday.

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