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Saudi Prince Killed While Trying to Flee amid Royal Purge: Source

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TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Mansour bin Muqrin, a Saudi prince who was recently killed in a helicopter crash near the kingdom’s south near the border with Yemen, was attempting to flee the country when his helicopter went down, a source said.

A Middle East Eye source in Saudi Arabia said Mansour was a known opponent of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and was killed after trying to flee the country with his personal helicopter.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said early Monday that the crash happened in Saudi Arabia’s Asir province as the official took part in a tour of local projects near Abha, some 520 miles southwest of Riyadh.

Prince Mansour was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence service director and a one-time crown prince of the kingdom. Prince Muqrin was removed as crown prince in April 2015 by his half-brother King Salman in favor of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a counterterrorism czar and interior minister.

But in June, King Salman also ousted Prince Mohammed in favor of installing his 32-year-old son, the now-Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as first in line to the throne.

News of the crash comes as Saudi Arabia pursues a sweeping purge of the kingdom's upper ranks, with dozens of princes, ministers and a billionaire tycoons arrested as bin Salman cements his hold on power.

When the purge was launched on Saturday, there was a ban on the movement of all private planes.

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