Top-ranking prince killed in copter crash
Dubai: A helicopter carrying a high-ranking Saudi royal, Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, and other government officials crashed in the kingdom's south, reportedly killing all eight people aboard.
The Saudi interior ministry said early today that the crash happened yesterday in Saudi Arabia's Asir province as the official took part in a tour of local projects near Abha, some 160km from the border with Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a military coalition against Yemen's Houthi rebels since March 2015.
Security officials gave no cause for the crash, but said a search of the wreckage was underway.
In Yemen, Houthi officials offered no immediate comment on the crash, while the group's Al-Masirah satellite news channel reported only that the crash had occurred.
The Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al-Arabiya, based in Dubai, reported that the crash killed the prince and seven others. He was the deputy governor of Asir province.
Prince Mansour was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence service director and one-time crown prince. Prince Muqrin was removed as crown prince in April 2015 by his half brother King Salman in favour of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
But in June, King Salman also ousted Prince Mohammed in favour of the king's 32-year-old son, the now-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as first in line to the throne.