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Sunday, August 22, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Saudi King Fahd's Eldest Son, Prince Faisal, Dies

AP

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - The eldest son of Saudi King Fahd has died of a heart attack, Saudi government officials said yesterday.

Prince Faisal bin Fahd, who was the equivalent of a minister of sports, died in the intensive-care unit of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh. He was 54, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Prince Faisal was not in line to the throne. His uncle, Crown Prince Abdullah, is the heir.

Prince Faisal was admitted to the hospital yesterday with "severe heart problems," officials said.

Members of his immediate family were informed he was ailing and had started to return from vacations abroad to be by his side, a hospital source said. The prince had two sons and three daughters.

Saudi television reported the death but did not broadcast recitals of the Koran, the Islamic holy book, as often happens after a prominent person's death in Muslim countries.

The funeral will be held at Imam Turki bin Abdullah Mosque in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency said. He will be buried in a city cemetery.

King Fahd was cutting short his vacation in Spain to return for the funeral, a Saudi official said. The king has five other sons.

Other Arab statesmen, including Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, are expected to attend. Arafat and Mubarak had been scheduled to hold talks today in Egypt.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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