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Saudi crown prince funeral attended by hundreds

Hundreds attended a funeral Tuesday in Saudi Arabia for the former crown prince.

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Ailing Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz (2L) wears a surgical mask as he prays alongside family members during the funeral of his brother, the late Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz, at Imam Turki bin Abdullah mosque, on October 25, 2011, in Riyadh. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia held a state funeral for crown prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Tuesday.

The Associated Press reports that hundreds of men filled a mosque in Riyadh.

Prince Sultan, who was also defense minister, died Saturday in New York of an unspecified illness. He was 80.

GlobalPost reports that the crown prince had overseen the modernization of Saudi Arabia’s armed forces and presided over the purchase of billions of dollars in advanced weaponry.

More from GlobalPost in Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's crown prince dies

Interior Minister Prince Nayef is expected to be named the next heir, Reuters reports. The move is intended to promote economic stability in Saudi Arabia.

"In the political system this is an important event, but the system is designed to ensure continuity," Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist at National Commercial Bank in Jeddah, told Reuters. "Economic policy is put in place over a much longer period and is not likely to change at all."

Saudi King Abdullah, who is 87 and has had three operations in a year to treat back problems, attended the funeral wearing a surgical mask, AP states.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/saudi-arabia/111025/saudi-crown-prince-funeral