Saudi Crown Prince Nayef
Saudi Crown Prince Nayef, Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, a hard-line conservative credited with pushing back al Qaeda, will be buried Sunday, a spokesman said.Nayef, named crown prince in October by his brother the king, was heir to the Saudi throne. Saudi state TV, which reported his death Saturday, broadcast Quran readings as an expression of mourning for the prince, who died in Geneva, Switzerland.
“It is a shock. We all knew his health was frail, but his death is a shock,” Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nogali said. “We still don’t know the reason behind his death.”
The Saudi Press Agency published a statement from the Royal Court, saying it “condoles the Saudi people on the deceased prince pray to God to bless his soul and to reward him for his services to his religion and homeland.”
Nayef’s body will arrive in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday and will be buried after afternoon prayer in Mecca, Nogali said.
After the funeral, a period of mourning — most likely for three days — will be announced, a Saudi official said. The official asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement Saturday offering his condolences.
“Under his leadership, the United States and Saudi Arabia developed a strong and effective partnership in the fight against terrorism, one that has saved countless American and Saudi lives,” Obama said. (CNN)