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Saudi Arabia admits journalist is dead, 18 people detained

Saudi Arabia has admitted that missing dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, with its public prosecutor claiming the Washington Post columnist got into a fight with people he met at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and died as a result, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Saturday.

Investigations into his disappearance earlier in the month are continuing, and 18 Saudi nationals have been detained, it said.

(Police barricades outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 19, 2018)
[Getty/Kyodo]

«The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments» and stressed its commitment to bringing all those involved to justice, the agency quoted a government source as saying.

The kingdom also fired several intelligence officers including those close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, it said.

Khashoggi, who had been critical of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

U.S. media have reported that Turkish investigators heard audio recordings that suggested Khashoggi was tortured and killed.

==Kyodo

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