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King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand dies aged 88

October 13, 2016, 14:58 UTC+3

The 64-year old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is expected to become the new king

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© AP Photo/Wason Wanichakorn

BANGKOK, October 13. /TASS/. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand died in Bangkok’s hospital aged 88, the palace announced on Thursday.

The world's longest-reigning monarch "has passed away… peacefully," the palace said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha appeared on national television channels to announce that Thailand will observe a year-long mourning period and asked his compatriots to abstain from any entertainments for at least a month.

The king was suffering declining health and made rare public appearances in the closing years of his life.

The 64-year old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, is expected to become the new king.

Thousands of Thais, who gathered earlier on Thursday outside Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital met the news with tears and cries.

The country’s government and parliament will hold extraordinary meetings in the evening.

King Bhumibol remained a symbol of unity in Thailand, which saw 19 coups during his 70-year reign, and was revered by his people.

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