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>> Saudi Arabia is now admitting that Washington Post columnist Jamal Kashoggi is dead, killed in what they say was a fight that broke out at their Istanbul consulate, and that two officials close to the royal family have been fired over it. It's the first time the Kingdom's admitted Kashoggi's death after weeks of unanswered questions.
But the preliminary report released on Saudi Arabia's official state run television gave few details and no evidence. It's not clear how the fight broke out, only that it was between Khashoggi, last seen here entering the consulate but not emerging and people who met him there. The Saudis say they've arrested 18 Saudi nationals involved.
The Saudi official also told Reuters separately that the Saudi journalist died of strangulation, a choke hold as his opponents tried to keep him quiet. This version of events doesn't line up with reports of an audio recording. The details circulated by Turkish media for days that suggest Khashoggi was actually tortured, his fingers severed.
Reports that four American and European intelligence sources have previously said were partly confirmed by their government's own security services. US President Donald Trump says he believes Riyahd's statement is credible.>> I do, I do. I mean it's, again, it's early. We haven't finished our review or investigation, but I think it's a very important first step.
We'll see what happens. We may have some questions, we do have some questions.>> What is known is that this incident appears to have struck at the very core of the Saudi Royal Family. A Saudi official told Reuters that the powerful crown prince, Muhammad Bin Salman, had no knowledge or involvement in this specific incident, but that there was a standing order to bring critics like Khashoggi back to the kingdom.
> Now, an advisor considered the Prince's right hand man has been fired along with this man, the country's deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed Asiri. King Salman himself ordered their removals. Court insiders suggest the King's growing involvement in containing this crisis may be evidence of doubts in his son's leadership.