Saudis Pay Tribute to Famous Bodyguard to Kings Killed in Dispute with Friend in Jeddah

Saudi citizens took to social media to pay tribute to Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz Al-Fagham, the bodyguard to both the late King Abdullah and King Salman who was killed in argument with a friend in Jeddah, Saudi state media said.

Al-Fagham, a tall and fit man who had a familiar face for many Saudis because he was often seen alongside Saudi leaders in public appearances, died in hospital from gunshot wounds sustained in an altercation on Saturday night during what was described as “a personal dispute” at a friend’s home in Al-Shatee district of Jeddah, Arab News reports.

Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz Al-Fagham tying the shoe of King Salman.

Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz Al-Fagham tying the shoe of King Salman.

“His tall, slender body belied the muscular power that lay within; the calm, beardless face rarely if ever betrayed emotion, despite the importance of his role,” Arab News writes. “For many Saudis who grew to recognize his imposing presence from photos of royal events, he was the “guardian angel” who protected their king from harm. And on Sunday they woke up to the appalling news that he was dead.”

More from Arab News:

“An acquaintance, Mamdouh bin Meshaal Al-Ali entered the residence,” police said. “The conversation between Fagham and Ali escalated… Ali left the house, came back carrying a gun and fired at Fagham, injuring two others in the household — the house owner’s brother, Turki Al-Sabti, and a Filipino domestic worker.”

“Ali refused to surrender to police who surrounded the house. He was killed in a shoot-out with officers, five of whom were wounded and are receiving treatment for their injuries. Gen. Al-Fagham was taken to hospital, but died as a result of his wounds.”

The killer’s father is a member of the Saudi Shoura council, and according to Arab News, expressed his condolences “to the royal family, the royal guards, the Saudi nation, and Gen. Al-Fagham’s family and relatives.”  He described the incident as a treacherous killing.