Tens of thousands of Muslims gather in Mecca to say prayers for murdered Jamal Khashoggi 

Mail Online | 9/11/2001 | Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline;Afp
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Tens of thousands of Muslims flocked to their religion's holiest site to offer prayers in remembrance of a journalist whose body was dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Mourners surrounded the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to pay tribute to Jamal Khashoggi, who was their countryman and a vocal critic of the Islamist autocracy that governs the state.

Grand - Mosque - Today - Dissident - Death

They prayed at the Grand Mosque today to commemorate the dissident, who was strangled to death according to Turkish officials.

It comes as Turkish media claims that an audio tape discredits the official Saudi narrative of the killing after the Kingdom yesterday exonerated its Crown Prince. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president, had said the murder was sanctioned by 'the highest levels' of Saudi government.

Saudi - Officials - Death - Penalty - Khashoggi

Five Saudi officials face the death penalty after being accused of murdering Khashoggi, it was revealed yesterday, when the kingdom's deputy public prosecutor said 21 people are in custody and 11 face charges.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is blaming the murder on 'rogue elements' and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said bin Salman has 'absolutely nothing to do' with the death.

'Sometimes - Mistakes - People - Authority - Kingdom

'Sometimes mistakes happen,' he said, adding that 'sometimes people exceed their authority'. He added that the kingdom is taking steps 'to make sure this doesn't happen again'.

Today's emotional outpouring at the Kaaba - which is the focus of an annual Islamic pilgrimage known as Hajj - was coupled with dozens of mourners paying homage to Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Crowd - Fatih - Mosque - Body - Front

The crowd gathered at Fatih mosque to conduct a funeral despite not having a body and they stood in front of an empty platform traditionally reserved for the coffin. Among them were supporters from the newly-formed Jamal Khashoggi Friends Association.

'We decided to hold the prayers as we are convinced that his body will never be found,' said executive director of the...
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