Saudi citizens detained in connection with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi citizens detained in connection with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi citizens detained in connection with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of a physical altercation inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabian official media reported on Friday.

The White House said it was "saddened" over Khashoggi's death, but did not mention of action against the USA ally, reported AFP.

The White House has issued a statement acknowledging the Saudis' announcement regarding the fate of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and offered condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends.

"I do, I do", Trump said when asked if he found the Saudis' explanation credible, adding: "It's early, we haven't finished our review or investigation, but".

On Friday evening, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham - a key ally of President Donald Trump - posted a tweet registering his skepticism of the Saudi government's latest account of what happened to Khashoggi.

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "deeply troubled" by the news.

Turkish authorities said days ago, that they had an audio recording of the incident in which they say Khashoggi was interrogated, which led to a struggle, which led to Jamal Khashoggi's death.

Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the remains of Khashoggi more than two weeks after he vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters.

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Saudi Arabia also announced that 18 people had been arrested in the ongoing probe.

It also appeared to downplay the fact that Turkish officials say an "assassination squad" from the kingdom including an official from Prince Mohammed's entourage and an "autopsy expert" flew in ahead of time and laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate.

President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia's removal of two top officials and more than a dozen arrests a "good first step" in response to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, even as USA lawmakers from both parties expressed deep skepticism.

An official familiar with the Saudi operation said: 'There were no orders for them to kill him or even specifically kidnap him.

The journalist's disappearance has sparked global outrage and threatened the US-Saudi relationship.

President Trump said the United States could impose sanctions over the feared murder of Khashoggi while his top diplomat Mike Pompeo told Voice of America Radio: "We'll certainly consider a wide range of potential responses".

Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should pursue sanctions against Saudis involved in Khashoggi's death under a USA law named after Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption Russian accountant who died in custody.

Trump's previous warnings over the case drew an angry response Sunday from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

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