Saudi King’s Bodyguard Shot Dead in “Personal Dispute”

  • After a brief verbal exchange, one of the guests, a Mr. Al-Ali, also a friend of Fagham, left the house before returning, armed with a gun.
  • He also injured two others, including another Saudi, and a Filipino employee, before hiding and exchanging fire with police.
  • He was shot dead and five police officers were also injured.

Saudi King Salman’s personal bodyguard, General Abdel Aziz al-Fagham, has been shot dead. He was killed by one of his friends following a “personal dispute” in Jeddah, Saudi police said on Sunday. A police spokesman informed the official SPA news agency, and added that the perpetrator was shot and killed by police.

Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been King of Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques since January 23, 2015. King Salman acceded to the throne in 2015 at the age of 79. Many observers suggest that his son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, wields real power in Saudi Arabia.

The case occurred late Saturday night when General Fagham had paid a friend a visit. The friend was receiving several guests at his home in Jeddah, the large port city of western Saudi Arabia, the spokesman said. After a brief verbal exchange, one of the guests, a Mr. Al-Ali, also a friend of Fagham, left the house before returning, armed with a gun. He promptly opened fire on the general, mortally wounding him.

He also injured two others, including another Saudi, and a Filipino employee, before hiding and exchanging fire with police, according to the police spokesman. He was shot dead and five police officers were injured, according to the same source. “General Abdel Aziz al-Fagham, King Salman’s bodyguard, is dead,” the daily Saudi Gazette reported. State television Al Ekhbariya announced that he was killed in “an exchange of fire in Jeddah during a personal dispute.”

The killing of the prominent bodyguard has left the kingdom in utter shock. Following the unfortunate occurrence, social media pages in the kingdom were abuzz with tributes for Maj Gen Abdulaziz al-Fagham, who was a close ally to the king. Many social media tributes were accompanied by his photos with many including pictures of the bodyguard at work. Notably, one trending picture showed him going down on his knees to apparently help tie the shoelaces of the 83-year-old king of the oil-rich kingdom.

Of the many reactions on social networks, several Saudis are mourning the demise of King Salman’s bodyguard whom they described as their leader’s guardian angel. “The news of his death fell like a bomb and surprised the Saudis, who are saddened by his murder,” wrote the Okaz newspaper in its online version. General Fagham will be buried today, Sunday night in the holy city of Mecca (west) after the evening prayer, according to Saudi press.

Al Ekhbariya is an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The channel, like its main competitor Al Jazeera, is owned by its government and run by the Ministry of Media, along with other channels that are part of the Saudi Television network.

According to the Okaz online news, General Fagham replaced his father as the personal guard of the late King Abdullah, who died in 2015. He was then charged with protecting King Salman when he succeeded his stepbrother. His father, Baddah, was a very reliable servant who protected King Abdullah for three decades.

The newspaper called General Fagham “the most famous of the royal guards,” praising his honesty, dedication to duty, vigilance, and tact. It recalled that he was one of King Salman’s closest associates, whom he accompanied in all his movements, both inside and outside the kingdom.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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