WED 13 - 11 - 2019
Sep 30, 2019
The Daily Star
Saudi king's bodyguard shot dead in personal dispute
RIYADH: A personal bodyguard of Saudi Arabia's King Salman has been shot dead and seven others wounded, including security forces, during an altercation at a friend's home, authorities said Sunday.
Maj. Gen. Abdelaziz al-Fagham, who was frequently seen by the king's side, died Saturday evening in the western city of Jeddah, police said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
"Fagham was visiting his friend at his home in Jeddah when (an) acquaintance ... , entered the residence," it said.
"The conversation ... escalated... (the acquaintance) left the home, came back carrying a gun and fired at Fagham, injuring two others in the household, a Filipino worker and brother of the house's owner."
Al-Ekhbariya state television reported that the incident was triggered by a "personal dispute", without giving further details.
The shooter himself was later killed and five security personnel wounded in a shootout when the suspect "refused to surrender", SPA said.
It added that Fagham died in hospital from his injuries and that an investigation had been launched.
The general, close to the king, was well known among Saudis.
His death sparked sharp reactions on Twitter, with some condemning the killing of the Saudi ruler's "guardian angel".
He also guarded the late King Abdullah, taking after his father who served under the former ruler for three decades.
The Okaz newspaper said the public took a liking to Fagham from the days when he guarded King Abdullah.
"With this, he gained the leadership's trust and the love of the Saudis," the paper said.
Okaz described him as "the most famous of all the royal guards" and said he was known for his vigilance and tact.
It said that he accompanied the king on all his travels, inside and outside of the kingdom.
Fagham will be buried on Sunday evening near the Great Mosque in Mecca – Islam's holiest site.
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