As the world marks the 1st anniversary of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the image of Saudi Arabia continues to be tainted. This is after Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz al-Faghm, a personal bodyguard assigned to Saudi King Salman was shot dead. The man who was referred to as the ‘Keeper of Kings’ was killed over the weekend.
According to the news on the ground, Al-Faghm had an altercation with Mamdouh bin Meshaal bin Ali, a longtime friend who is said to have gotten angry and ultimately pulling the trigger. This happened when the two were visiting another friend in the port city of Jeddah. Al-Ali is said to have gotten angry to a point that he went for the gun, killed the bodyguard, and injured a Filipino worker and the owner of the house they were visiting. Al-Faghm was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.
The Killing of the Assailant
Mahmoud al-Ali did not survive to at least explain his actions. The nature of the argument was not revealed as well and although investigations are ongoing, he will not be there to answer the charges. Police responded to the altercation and rushed to save the situation. They were met with gunshots as Bin Ali refused to surrender and instead opted to shoot at the police. He wounded five police officers but he was killed.
Saudis Mourn the General
Saudis did not hesitate to mourn Al-Faghm using social media and other channels. His burial took place on Sunday in Mecca. People with black-and-white photos of the general could be seen on social media while others recited poetry for him. The photos were of him with the king.
The slain general has served the kingdom for 15 years serving both the Late King Abdulla and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and this probably the reason he was known as the keeper of kings. Initially, he was part of entourage but he was later promoted to be a personal bodyguard. This made him appear in many photos of the King whether he was within the country or abroad.
The investigations are still ongoing to find out why the assailant decided to kill and injure others. The man who was referred to as the ‘Keeper of Kings’ or ‘the kings’ walking stick’ was mourned all over Twitter by Saudis including some news agencies.