Bodyguard to Saudi king reportedly shot dead by friend | World news

A prominent bodyguard to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been shot and killed in what authorities described as a personal dispute, according to state TV, offering few details on an incident that has shocked the kingdom.

There were tributes on social media for Maj Gen Abdulaziz al-Fagham, with many including images of the bodyguard at work. One picture showed him bending down to apparently help tie the shoes of the king, the 83-year-old ruler of the oil-rich kingdom.

Others show Fagham in the background of events with both the king and his predecessor, the late King Abdullah.

Details remained vague. While officials posted condolences for Fagham, the first official word of his death came in a single tweet by Saudi state television on Sunday.

“Maj Gen Abdulaziz al-Fagham, bodyguard of the custodian of the two holy mosques, was shot dead following a personal dispute in Jeddah,” the tweet read.

State TV offered no other details. Hours later, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said a friend of Fagham had shot and killed him, and another Saudi and a Filipino worker had been wounded. A gunfight erupted with security forces that also left the shooter dead and five members of the security forces wounded, the news agency reported.

The daily newspaper Okaz, while offering no details on the shooting, described Fagham in a headline as “the keeper of kings”.

Officials in the kingdom did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gun crimes are rare in Saudi Arabia, where convicted killers and drug smugglers are routinely executed under strict Islamic law. In 2017 there were 419 reported homicides, according to the UN.

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