Saudi Crown Prince Takes Charge for First Time

King Abdullah on 'special leave' in Morocco
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2012 3:09 AM CDT
Crown Prince Salman has taken charge of the kingdom for the first time.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(Newser) – Saudi Arabia's defense minister is getting his first shot at wielding absolute power. Crown Prince Salman, who became next in line to the throne in June, will be running the country while King Abdullah is on "special leave" in Morocco, reports AP. Saudi officials didn't say how long the 88-year-old monarch will be out of the country, or discuss any health issues. Over the weekend, Saudi officials said they had uncovered terrorist cells plotting attacks in the capital, and arrested six Yemenis belonging to a "deviant group"—the kingdom's description of al-Qaeda. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)

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