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Saudi deputy governor killed in helicopter crash near Yemen

[file photo]

The deputy governor of Saudi Arabia’s southern Asir province and several colleagues were killed in a helicopter crash yesterday, Saudi state TV Ekhbariya reported.

Local newspaper Okaz reported the helicopter went down while the officials were taking a tour of an area near the coast in Asir, which borders Yemen.

Saudi Prince Mansour Bin Muqrin and seven other people, including senior government officials and a mayor, were killed in the crash.

The reports did not elaborate on the cause of the crash.

The news comes as Saudi Arabia has begun a crackdown on princes, businessmen and officials, including the Kingdom’s best-known international investor, Al-Waleed Bin Talal who was detained at the weekend.

Read: Saudi Arabia arrests 46 for ‘stirring divisions’

A no-fly list has been drawn up and security forces in some Saudi airports were barring owners of private jets from taking off without a permit, pan-Arab daily Al-Asharq Al-Awsat said. Among those detained are 11 princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers, according to Saudi officials.

The allegations against the men include money laundering, bribery, extortion and taking advantage of public office for personal gain, a Saudi official told Reuters.

A royal decree on Saturday said the crackdown was launched in response to “exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly accrue money”.

The new anti-corruption committee has the power to seize assets at home and abroad before the results of its investigations are known.

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