Tanks sent into Ras al-Khaimah

Federal leaders in the United Arab Emirates have sent tanks into Ras al-Khaimah to maintain peace after the emirate’s ruler announced a sudden change in succession, reported eye witnesses.

    No reason was given for Sheikh
    Saqr's move

    On Sunday troops and armoured vehicles were seen guarding the palaces of new Crown Prince Saud bin Saqr al-Qassimi and his ageing father Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammad al-Qassimi, the ruler of the emirate.

    In a decree issued on Saturday, Sheikh Saqr removed his eldest son Khaled from the succession.

    Sources close to Sheikh Khaled were quoted by Reuters as saying he rejected the decision because his father was not in good health.

    The reinforcements were sent from the federal capital Abu Dhabi to the northern outpost at the request of Ras al-Khaimah's authorities “to maintain stability and public order”, an "official source" told AFP.

    Sheikh Khaled, 63, held the title of Crown Prince for more than four decades. No reason was given for the appointment of the younger brother, who is 48-years old.

    Emirati sources told the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic newspaper that the ousted Crown Prince “deliberately blocked” rulings by his half brother, who headed Ras al-Khaimah's town council.

    “Sheikh Saud was considered to be the strongman of the emirate in recent years after setting up several industrial and investment projects,” said al-Sharq al-Awsat.

    The emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah amd Ras al-Khaimah joined together in 1971 to form the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


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