A senior Saudi prince and seven other officials have been killed in a helicopter crash near the country’s border with Yemen, state media report.
Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, was returning from an inspection tour when his aircraft came down near Abha late on Sunday, the interior ministry said.
It did not give a cause for the crash.
The incident came hours after a major purge of the kingdom’s political and business leadership.
An anti-corruption body led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, ordered the detentions of dozens of people, including 11 princes, four ministers and dozens of ex-ministers.
Analysts see the unprecedented move as an attempt to cement the power of the heir to the throne.
Prince Mansour was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence chief who was crown prince between January and April 2015, when he was pushed aside by Prince Mohammed’s father, King Salman, now 81.
Mansour served as a consultant to his father’s royal court and in April 2017 was among eight young royals appointed deputy governors.