11222017Headline:

UPDATE 1 – Saudi prince, others killed in helicopter crash near Yemen

A helicopter carrying government officials has crashed in southwest Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, killing Prince Mansour bin Muqrin and several others, officials say. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.

The incident happened late on Sunday afternoon when the aircraft disappeared from radar in the vicinity of the Reda reserve in Asir Region, which borders Yemen. The wreckage was found hours later in a mountainous area.

The helicopter was carrying a number of regional officials, including Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of the Asir region. Mansour was returning home after carrying out an inspection of coastal projects near Abha.

The exact number of people on board the aircraft was not immediately clear, but local authorities said there were no survivors. It was also not immediately known what may have caused the crash, which came after a tumultuous weekend in the kingdom.

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who became crown prince after the death of King Abdullah in January 2015. King Salman removed him just three months later, appointing Prince Muhammad bin Nayef instead.

Sunday's crash followed a rapid chain of events in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a ballistic missile near the capital Riyadh on Saturday night after it was fired from Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Houthi militia. The same day, an anti-corruption purge targeted dozens of people, including 11 princes and 4 ministers.

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