Saudi king in hospital for medical tests

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Saudi Arabia’s octogenarian monarch has undergone medical tests, state-run media reports just weeks after having the battery of his pacemaker changed.

The report on Sunday in the official Saudi Press Agency did not provide further details about King Salman’s condition or the nature of the medical examinations. It said the king, 86, was admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi port city of Jiddah.

The monarch’s health is closely watched because he holds absolute power in the kingdom.

King Salman ascended to the throne in 2015 and has appointed his 36-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as his successor. However, he has also already empowered Prince Mohammed to lead day-to-day affairs.

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Since his elevation to power, Prince Mohammed has upended the kingdom with dizzying social reforms, sidelined royal rivals and cracked down on perceived opponents, sparking controversy.

Earlier this year, state media reported that King Salman was hospitalised in Riyadh to have the battery of his heart pacemaker replaced. In 2020, he had surgery to remove his gall bladder after a stint in the hospital that revived speculation about the state of his health.

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