Dozens detained in Saudi Arabia leadership purge

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is among those detained

Dozens detained in Saudi Arabia leadership purge

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31-07-2017. Image: Balkis Press/ABACAPRESS.COM

At least 11 princes and dozens of former Government ministers have been detained in a major leadership purge in Saudi Arabia, according to reports in the country.

The arrests came hours after a new anti-corruption committee was formed by royal decree on Saturday, according to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV.

The heads of the navy and the Kingdom’s elite security force, the Saudi National Guard were also replaced in a separate move.

The committee is headed up by the heir to the throne and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The 32-year-old is attempting to set himself up as a reformer in the ultra-conservative kingdom – recently introducing a change in the law allowing women to drive.

He is viewed by many as the de-facto leader of the country and it is believed he is consolidating his control over main functions of government ahead of a formal transfer of power from his 81-year-old father.

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal - who owns stakes in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and social media site Twitter - is reportedly among those detained.