Thai king, world's longest-reigning monarch, dies after prolonged illness?
In photo: Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej lighting the flame of the 13th Asian Games on December 3, 1998. Photograph: (AFP)
Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej, world's longest-reigning monarch, died at the age of 88 today, after a period of prolonged illness.
Bhumibol's death ends a remarkable seven-decade reign leaving a divided people bereft of a towering and rare figure of unity, international news agency AFP reported.
"Although the team of doctors treated him to the best of their ability, his condition deteriorated," the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement.
"At 15:52 (0852 GMT), he died at Siriraj Hospital peacefully." His death plunges Thailand into a period of uncertainty, AFP observed.
The monarch's death will lead to a one-year mourning period.
(WION with inputs from AFP)