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Arab Dignitaries Mourn Saudi Prince

August 22, 1999

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ Arab dignitaries and hundreds of Saudis participated in funeral prayers Sunday for King Fahd’s eldest son, Prince Faisal, who was considered the minister of sports for his country.

Prince Faisal bin Fahd, 54, died of a heart attack in Riyadh’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital on Saturday afternoon, hours after he was admitted with heart problems.

He was not in line for the throne. His uncle, Crown Prince Abdullah, is the heir.

King Fahd, who is vacationing in Spain, did not attend the funeral. Fahd has been in poor health since he suffered a stroke in 1995. Saudi officials in Spain said he would not be returning for now, but would not give a reason.

The prince’s uncles, Crown Prince Abdullah, Defense Minister Prince Sultan and Interior Minister Prince Nayef, arrived from the Saudi Red Sea Port city of Jiddah to attend the funeral and accept condolences.

Several Arab dignitaries attended the funeral and leaders from Morocco, Algeria and the Arab League have phoned Fahd in Spain to express their condolences, state-run television reported.

The prince was buried in a low-key ceremony and placed in an unmarked grave in a city cemetery, in accordance with the tradition of Wahabi and other conservative Muslim sects.

Prince Faisal was the equivalent of minister of sports and headed the Arab Sports Federation, which organized the Arab Games under way in Amman, Jordan.

The games stopped for three hours Sunday as a mark of respect for Prince Faisal. The prince had attended the games until Wednesday.

Prince Faisal had two sons and three daughters, the official news agency said. He also was survived by his wife, Princess Munira, the daughter of Defense Minister Prince Sultan, according to Egypt’s Middle East News Agency.

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