Saudi king’s long-time trusted and close bodyguard is SHOT DEAD after ‘personal dispute’ at friend’s home
The most trusted personal bodyguard of the king of Saudi Arabia has been shot dead by an angered friend, in a dramatic turn of events. The suspected killer was then killed in an intense shootout with police.
The kingdom’s state-run media initially reported that Major General Abdulziz al-Fagham was gunned down after having “a personal dispute” at a friend’s house in the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea coast, without providing any details.
The Saudi Press Agency then cited a brief police report that said al-Fagham had arrived at his friend’s residence on Saturday evening, where another mutual friend named Mamdouh al-Ali was also present. At some point, an argument broke out between al-Fagham and al-Ali who then left the house and came back with a firearm, shooting the bodyguard. Al-Fagham would later succumb to his wounds in a hospital. Al-Ali also wounded the house owner’s brother and a Filipino guest worker.
According to police, the suspect then barricaded himself inside the house and refused to surrender. He was killed in an ensuing firefight with police officers. Five security officials were wounded by the suspect's “indiscriminate gunfire.”
The official reports did not reveal what exactly set off al-Fagham’s killer nor any additional information about the perpetrator. Two of the slain bodyguard’s nephews confirmed on Twitter that he was killed by a “treacherous friend.”
Al-Fagham was king Salman’s most trusted personal bodyguard and had previously protected his half-brother, the late king Abdullah. Nicknamed ‘the king’s crutch,’ he was often photographed closely following the monarch during foreign trips and various public events across the kingdom. In most cases, Al-Fagham was instantly recognizable due to his tall stature, trademark black uniform and black beret.
He was also occasionally seen helping 83-year-old Salman to stand and walk.
In one photo, shared on social media after al-Fagham’s death, the bodyguard appeared to be tying Salman’s shoes.
Saudi officials and ordinary citizens flocked to Twitter to pay tributes to al-Fagham. Senior Royal Court adviser Turki al-Sheikh called him “a hero.” The head of the Private Office of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Bader al-Asaker, praised the slain bodyguard for his “sincere service” to the Royal Family.
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