Saudi Arabia: Royal family members arrested over coup plot against King Salman, crown prince

There is tension in Saudi Arabia following the arrest of three members of the royal family.

They were arrested for allegedly plotting to oust King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Wall Street Journal reports.

Currently in detention are the king’s brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz al Saud, a nephew, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and a royal cousin, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef.

They were picked up from their homes and have been slammed with treason charges.

One of the alleged coup plotter, Mohammed bin Nayef, used to be a powerful figure.

He was once the head of Saudi counter-terrorism efforts and had been crown prince.

But in 2017, King Salman took away the title and put his son, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), first in line for the throne.

MBS, the crown prince, is in charge of day-to-day governance in the kingdom.

In 2018, Mohammed bin Nayef was criticised after the killing Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death and three to jail over Khashoggi’s murder, but several countries and international bodies insist that those who masterminded killing were allowed to go free.

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