Saudi ar­rests soar in purge of the princes

Toronto Star - - WORLD - AB­DUL­LAH AL-SHIHRI AND AYA BA­TRAWY

RIYADH, SAUDI ARA­BIA— Dozens more peo­ple have been ar­rested by Saudi au­thor­i­ties, the king­dom said Thurs­day, bring­ing to 201 the num­ber de­tained in a sweep that in­ves­ti­ga­tors say has un­cov­ered at least $100 bil- lion in cor­rup­tion.

Saudi crit­ics and ex­perts have called the un­prece­dented purge of top princes and busi­ness­men a bold and risky move by Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man aimed at con­sol­i­dat­ing power as he casts his eye to­ward the throne, sidelin­ing po­ten­tial ri­vals and dis­man­tling alli- an­ces built with other branches of the royal fam­ily. The sweep comes at a time of in­creased ten­sions be­tween Saudi Ara­bia and its main re­gional ri­val, Iran, over the on­go­ing con­flict and suf­fer­ing in Yemen and a newly erupt­ing po­lit­i­cal cri­sis in Le­banon.

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