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Speculation over Saudi Crown Prince health amid rumours of his death

Crown Prince and Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (L) attends the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) Defense Ministers' Meeting at Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 26, 2017. ( Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Royal Council / Handout - Anadolu Agency )

Western media outlets have raised speculations over the wellbeing of Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman who has not made any public appearance in four weeks.

French 20 Minutes newspaper linked between the prince's disappearance and the "attempted coup" which took place at the royal palace in the neighbourhood of Khuzama in Riyadh on April, 21.

According to the paper, the Saudi media has rejected reports circulating on social media claiming the gunshots heard at the palace were part of a military coup attempt while the authorities claim a semi-automatic fire was used to send away a drone that appeared near the palace wall.

Read: Qatar bans goods from UAE, Saudi as embargo anniversary approaches

The French paper's report follows another report issued by British The Observer which also raised doubts about the prince's health.

Bin Salman has not appeared in public since his meeting with the Spanish royal family on April 12.

The al-Ahd al-Jadeed Twitter account, which describes itself as "close to the decision-making circles" in Saudi Arabia claimed that the Crown Prince has not entered the royal court since the incident at the royal palace in April.

Last week, Iranian Kayhan newspaper reported that the crown prince had been shot twice during the attack and may have already died, citing a secret intelligence report sent to senior officials in an unnamed Arab country.

According to the site, Bin Salman did not appear before camera when new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Riyadh late last April.

The Saudi royal family on Wednesday released a photo of bin Salman at a cabinet meeting in Jeddah and confirmed he was alive.



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