Saudi state media say king's bodyguard shot in 'personal dispute'

Updated 29 Sep 2019

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The state TV report on Sunday said Major General Abdulaziz al-Fagham was killed in a shooting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. — Photo courtesy Al Ekhbariya TV Twitter
The state TV report on Sunday said Major General Abdulaziz al-Fagham was killed in a shooting in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. — Photo courtesy Al Ekhbariya TV Twitter

A prominent bodyguard to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was shot and killed in what authorities described as a personal dispute, state TV reported on Sunday, offering few details on an incident that shocked the kingdom.

Tributes poured in across social media for Major General Abdulaziz al-Fagham, with many including images of the bodyguard at work. One included him bending down to apparently help tie the shoes of King Salman, the 83-year-old ruler of the oil-rich kingdom.

Others show al-Fagham in the background of events with both King Salman and his predecessor, the late King Abdullah.

A one-sentence statement published by state TV on Twitter identified al-Fagham as "the bodyguard of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques", the honorific given to Saudi kings.

There was no further information released by state TV.

Hours later, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the dispute saw a friend of al-Fagham shoot and kill him, as well as wound another Saudi and a Filipino worker there. A gunfight erupted as security forces responded to the home that saw the shooter killed and five members of the security forces wounded, the news agency reported.

The daily newspaper Okaz, while offering no details on the shooting that led to his death, described al-Fagham in a headline as "The Keeper of Kings".

Officials in the kingdom did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.