Bodyguard to Saudi King Salman has been shot dead by his friend after a personal dispute, authorities say.
A personal bodyguard of Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman named as Gen Abdel Aziz al-Fagham has been shot dead and seven others wounded, including security forces, during an altercation at a friend’s home, authorities said Sunday.
General 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, Mamdouh al-Ali, entered the residence,” it said.
“The conversation between Fagham and Ali escalated… Ali 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.
Ali himself was later killed and five security personnel wounded in a shootout when the suspect “refused to surrender”
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.
Public took a liking to Fagham from the days when he guarded King Abdullah.
“News of the killing has come as a thunderbolt for Saudis, who were deeply saddened by his death,” it said.
He was most famous of all the royal guards and he was known for his vigilance and tact.
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.
Bodyguard death sparked sharp reactions on Twitter, with some condemning the killing of the Saudi ruler’s “guardian angel”.