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Saudi Arabia Confirms Journalist Khashoggi Killed In Istanbul Consulate

Saudi Arabia confirmed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in its consulate in Istanbul, purportedly after “discussions” with officials devolved into “a fight.” The kingdom, which for two weeks denied any involvement in the reporter’s disappearance, also arrested 18 people in connection with an ongoing probe and sacked deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and senior government adviser Saud al-Qahtan. The move comes amid mounting international pressure on Riyadh, which Turkey has accused of sending a hit squad to murder the oft-critic of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Ankara claims that an audio recording exists proving that Khashoggi was tortured and dismembered on October 2. In response to the Saudi admission, United States President Donald Trump labeled the incident as “unacceptable” before qualifying that Riyadh is a “great ally” and that its explanation of the events leading to Khashoggi’s death is credible. The international furor over the killing poses one of the greatest threats in decades to the conservative Muslim nation, which has long benefited from Western, and in particular American, diplomatic and military protection. However, there are growing calls in Congress to sanction the House of Saud, with some pushing for the complete severing of ties.

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