The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been thrown into mourning after Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, was killed in an helicopter crash.

The incident occurred near the kingdom’s southern border with war-torn Yemen.

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 tycoon arrested as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman cements his hold on power.

Already viewed as the de facto ruler controlling all the major levers of government, from defence to the economy, Prince Mohammed is widely seen to be stamping out traces of internal dissent before a formal transfer of power from his 81-year-old father, King Salman.

The helicopter crash also comes after Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near Riyadh’s international airport.

It was fired from Yemen in an escalation of the kingdom’s war against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

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