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Saudi king Salman hospitalized for colonoscopy, instructed to rest for ‘some time’

Speculation regarding octogenarian monarch’s health has swirled over recent years, as he further withdrew from the public eye

Saudi King Salman attends the G20 Leaders' Summit via videoconference at the royal palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 30, 2021. (Bandar Aljaloud/ Saudi Royal Palace via AP)
Saudi King Salman attends the G20 Leaders' Summit via videoconference at the royal palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 30, 2021. (Bandar Aljaloud/ Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s octogenarian monarch underwent a colonoscopy on Sunday, state-run media reported, just weeks after he had the battery of his pacemaker changed.

The report in the official Saudi Press Agency first said only that King Salman, 86, was admitted to King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi port city of Jiddah for medical tests, without elaborating.

Later in the day, state-run media reported that he had had a colonoscopy, and nothing abnormal was found.

Doctors instructed King Salman to stay in the hospital for “some time” to rest, state-run media reported, without specifying how long.

The monarch’s health is closely watched because he holds absolute power in the kingdom.

King Salman ascended to the throne in 2015 and has appointed his 36-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as his successor. However, he has also already empowered Prince Mohammed to lead day-to-day affairs.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, speaks during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 14, 2021. (Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

Since his elevation to power, Prince Mohammed has upended the kingdom with dizzying social reforms, sidelined royal rivals, and cracked down on perceived opponents, sparking controversy.

Earlier this year, state media reported that King Salman was hospitalized in Riyadh to have the battery of his heart pacemaker replaced. In 2020, he had surgery to remove his gallbladder after a stint in the hospital that revived speculation about the state of his health.

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