Following news that a Saudi Arabian prince and other prominent Saudi leaders were arrested this weekend, came a report that a helicopter transporting eight high-ranking Saudi officials crashed in the south of Saudi Arabia, near the border with Yemen.
Saudi prince Mansour bin-Muqrin is among the deceased Saudi officials that were aboard the helicopter.
The death of Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province and son of a former crown prince, was announced by the news channel Al-Ekhbariya. The news report did not reveal the cause of the crash or the fate of the other officials aboard the aircraft.
Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin was the son of Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the ex-intelligence chief who briefly was Saudi Arabia’s crown prince from January to April 2015.
The crash site is reported near Abha, in the south of Saudi Arabia in the Asir Region, bordering Yemen. The area has seen a number of cross-border retaliatory attacks from Yemen in recent months, reportedly leading to casualties among Saudi troops. Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near Riyadh’s international airport after it was fired from Yemen in an escalation of the kingdom’s war against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
Over the weekend, many prominent Saudis were arrested in Saudi Arabia on “anti-corruption” charges. The arrested Saudis include prince Alwaleed bin-Talal, who infamously got into a Twitter spat last year with then-candidate Donald Trump, and Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group and brother of Osama bin Laden. The Binladin Group is one of the biggest construction companies, with an annual turnover of $30 billion, and has been carrying out the expansion of the famous Kaaba complex.
Here is a list of the arrested Saudi officials:
- Bakr bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Binladin Group;
- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding;
- Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, minister of the National Guard;
- Prince Turki bin Abdullah, former governor of Riyadh province;
- Khalid al-Tuwaijri, former chief of the Royal Court;
- Adel Fakeih, Minister of Economy and Planning;
- Ibrahim al-Assaf, former finance minister;
- Abdullah al-Sultan, commander of the Saudi navy;
- Mohammad al-Tobaishi, former head of protocol at the Royal Court;
- Amr al-Dabbagh, former governor of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority;
- Alwaleed al-Ibrahim, owner of television network MBC;
- Khalid al-Mulheim, former director-general at Saudi Arabian Airlines;
- Saoud al-Daweesh , former chief executive of Saudi Telecom;
- Prince Turki bin Nasser, former head of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment;
- Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Saud, former deputy defence minister;
- Saleh Kamel, businessman;
- Mohammad al-Amoudi, businessman;
The arrested Saudis were held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh on Sunday.
In October, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia would “return” to a “moderate Islam that is open to all religions” – comments many expected to anger conservatives in the Gulf kingdom. The crown prince also announced Saudi Arabia would “eradicate promoters of extremist thoughts.”
Watch the Video below: