Prince Muqrin receiving condolences on Prince Mansour's death Image Credit: Sabq

Manama: The brother of Saudi prince Mansour Bin Muqrin Bin Abdul Aziz who died on Saturday in a helicopter crash has denied reports and claims regarding the fatal accident.

Prince Mansour, the deputy governor of Asir province, and seven officials boarded a helicopter to follow up on coastal projects west of the city of Abha on Sunday morning, the Interior Ministry’s security spokesman said.

Contact with helicopter lost

While he and the officials were returning home early in the evening, contact with the helicopter was lost in the vicinity of the Reda reserve. The ministry later confirmed there were no survivors. Prince Mansour was buried on Tuesday.

However, a report in an Israeli daily, taken up by social media, claimed that the crash which happened hours after dozens of people, including princes, ministers and businessmen were detained in a sweeping anti-graft drive, was not an accident, although it did not back its allegations with any evidence.

Prince Faysal, the brother, said in a statement to Saudi daily Okaz that he strongly condemns “attempts by opponents of the Kingdom to use the martyrdom of his brother Prince Mansour to influence the awareness of the Saudi people who fully realise who is their enemy and who is their friend and who can discern right from wrong.”

Media fabrication

“The reports treating the martyrdom as not accidental are false and cheap media fabrications. Such a malicious game no longer fools the Saudi citizens and all the honourable people of the world. The despicable attempts to deal with any event related to Saudi Arabia from an angle to undermine the kingdom is a reflection of schemes by enemies to falsify and distort facts and to spread strife in our country,” he was quoted as saying by Okaz on Friday.

“My brother Prince Mansour was well-known for his deep patriotism and allegiance to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and to Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. He passed away as a martyr serving his country and looking after the people he was tasked to serve.”

Prince Faysal added that the inspection visit by his brother had been scheduled for some time and was not decided impromptu.

“As we pray God the Almighty to rest the souls of all those who passed away in the crash in eternal peace and to grant their families fortitude, we wish that all the media and social networking sites stop carrying fake news and not be dragged by the lies fabricated by those who are hostile to Saudi Arabia. We do look forward to greater accuracy and serenity in media reports,” he said.