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Saudi vows to ‘hit back’ at sanctions over Khashoggi

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday vowed to hit back against threats or sanctions imposed over the disappearance of veteran journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi has gone missing since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

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On Saturday, U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Riyadh with “severe punishment” if Khashoggi has been murdered.

“The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations,” the official SPA news agency quoted an official source as saying.

“The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action,” the source added.

On the same day Khashoggi arrived at the consulate, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the building while the journalist was also inside, police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, while several countries — particularly Turkey, the U.S., and the U.K — are pressing the case to be cleared up as soon as possible.

—AA

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