Saudi king hands hajj duties to deputy after hurting back

November 13, 2010 18:56

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — The Saudi king on Saturday transferred his traditional supervisory duties of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to his deputy prime minister after rupturing a disc in his back.

King Abdullah normally heads the committee charged with ensuring the smooth operation of the hajj, the largest annual gathering in the world. But a statement released by the Royal Court said the 86-year-old monarch herniated a disc in his back and Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz will take over the supervisory role.The statement did not say how the king's injury occurred.

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