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Bodyguard to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman killed in ‘personal dispute’

Major General Abdulaziz al-Fagham died in the city of Jeddah.

A giant banner showing Saudi King Salman, right, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a shopping centre (Amr Nabil/PA)
A giant banner showing Saudi King Salman, right, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a shopping centre (Amr Nabil/PA)

By Jon Gambrell, Associated Press

A prominent bodyguard to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was shot and killed in what authorities described as a personal dispute, state TV has reported.

Tributes poured in across social media for Major General Abdulaziz al-Fagham, with many including images of the bodyguard at work.

One included him bending down to apparently help tie the shoes of King Salman, the 83-year-old ruler of the oil-rich kingdom.

Others show Mr al-Fagham in the background of events with both King Salman and his predecessor, the late King Abdullah.

Details remained vague.

While officials posted condolences for Mr al-Fagham, the first official word of his death came in a single tweet by Saudi state television.

“Major General Abdulaziz al-Fagham, bodyguard of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, was shot dead following a personal dispute in Jeddah,” the tweet read.

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King Salman (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

State TV offered no other details.

Hours later, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the dispute saw a friend of Mr al-Fagham shoot and kill him, as well as wound another Saudi and a Filipino worker there.

A gunfight erupted as security forces responded to the home that saw the shooter killed and five members of the security forces wounded, the news agency reported.

The daily newspaper Okaz, while offering no details on the shooting that led to his death, described Mr al-Fagham in a headline as: The Keeper Of Kings.

Gun crimes are rare in Saudi Arabia, where strict Islamic law sees convicted killers and drug smugglers routinely executed.

In 2017, there were 419 reported homicides, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Saudi Arabia is home to over 30 million people.

PA

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