Three senior members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, including the King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s brother, have been arrested for unexplained reasons, media reports said on Saturday.
The detentions took place on Friday morning, the BBC quoted the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as saying in their reports.
The three men reported to have been arrested are the King’s younger brother Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and a royal cousin, Prince Nawaf bin Nayef, according to the reports.
Mohammed bin Nayef was the Kingdom’s Interior Minister until he was removed from his role and placed under house arrest by incumbent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017.
Guards arrived at the homes of the royals wearing masks and dressed in black, and searched their homes, the BBC cited the Wall Street Journal as saying in its report.
But there has been no immediate official confirmation or denial of the reports.
Prince Ahmed bin Abdelaziz is one of the last surviving sons of the King, and widely respected amongst older members of the ruling family, said the BBC.
The other senior prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, was next in line to the throne before he was suddenly replaced three years ago.
As Interior Minister, he was credited with defeating the Al Qaeda insurgency that gripped Saudi Arabia in the 2000s.
In a similar incident in 2017, dozens of Saudi royal figures, ministers and businessmen were confined to the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh after the Crown Prince ordered their arrests.