Saudi Arabia's crown prince Nayef buried in Mecca

Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan mourns during the funeral of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz in the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince and interior minister Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been laid to rest in Mecca.

Al Jazeera reports that Prince Nayef's body was buried in Al Adl cemetery near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, where several other members of the royal family are buried.

Saudi medical sources said that the 79-year-old had died of "cardiac problems" on Saturday, when he was at his brother's residence in Geneva, Switzerland.

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King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia led the burial ceremony, which was attended by other members of the royal family as well as international envoys, says Al Arabiya.

Prince Nayef's wrapped body was carried through crowds of relatives in a ceremony broadcast live on several television channels.

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AFP explains that Nayef's death comes just eight months after he replaced his late brother Sultan as crown prince and raises the issue of succession "because of the advanced age of the first line of apparent heirs." King Abdullah himself is 88 and reportedly in poor health and nobody is officially in line to replace Nayef, the news agency says, speculating that his 76-year-old brother Prince Salman is the most likely successor.

"There will be a meeting where the next crown prince will be decided. It has always been done in an orderly and organized manner. Prince Salman fits the profile in many ways," Khaled Almaeena, editor-in-chief of the Saudi Gazette said.   Prince Salman is seen as more likely to continue King Abdullah's cautious economic and social reforms, according to the ABC.

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