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Saudi Arabia names new interior minister

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November 5, 2012 12:56 PM EST | AP


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has issued a decree naming a new interior minister.

The new minister is Prince Muhammed bin Nayef. He is the son of late Crown Prince Nayef Abdul-Aziz, who died in June.

Prince Nayef had also served as interior minister since 1975. He was credited with a harsh crackdown on al-Qaida elements in the kingdom in the early 2000s.

The official state news agency said Monday that outgoing Interior Minister Ahmed bin Abdul-Aziz asked to be relieved of his post, nearly five months after he was named. He is the king's half-brother.

Prince Muhammed escaped an al-Qaida assassination attempt in 2009. He served as commander of counterterrorism operations as well as deputy interior minister.