Slain diplomat’s body arrives in Riyadh

A special aircraft carrying the body of Saudi diplomat Khalaf Al-Ali who was shot dead near his house in the Bangladeshi capital two days ago landed in Riyadh late last night.  “The body was received by a large number of Saudi officials mainly from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and led by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, deputy minister of foreign affairs,” said Alauddin Al-Askary, deputy minister for protocol affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Al-Askary, who expressed his shock and sorrow over the killing of 45-year-old Al-Ali, said the funeral would take place today. He said a team of Saudi officials and investigating experts mainly from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had arrived in Bangladesh to assist Bangladeshi security officers and investigators in solving the murder. Al-Ali was second secretary at the embassy in Dhaka.
Bangladesh police handed over the body to the legal adviser to the Saudi Embassy Mohammad Jashim Uddin Sarker after collecting it from the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital morgue earlier yesterday. The body was then brought to the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka where funeral prayer was held before being flown to Riyadh.
Al-Ali was shot dead 30 yards from his house in the Gulshan area of the Bangladeshi capital early Tuesday. Asked about the progress in investigation into the case, Al-Askary said: “We are still without a clue about the motive behind the killing of the official.”
He, however, expressed hope that the murderer would be caught.
The forensic report said a single bullet pierced through the left part of Khalaf’s chest and hit his kidney that led to heavy bleeding and eventually his death at a Dhaka hospital.
Al-Ali was preparing to leave Dhaka for Jordan a few weeks from now, said his brother Khalid Mohammed in Riyadh yesterday. He said his brother called him on Monday to inquire about his siblings and his only son, 24-year-old Nasser.
“We are a family of nine members and Khalaf was like our father after we lost both our parents,” Khalid added. Al-Ali had no enemy or problems with anyone, he said. He revealed this incident had left a deep sense of sorrow and loss among all members of the family.
Khalid denied his brother had been subject to any threats or harassment.
Nasser tearfully said his father had “sacrificed everything for his country.”
Referring to fears that the incident may strain relations between Riyadh and Dhaka, a report published in Bangla News said Dipu Moni, Bangladeshi foreign minister, would visit the Kingdom within a few days from now to brief Saudi authorities on the case. The visit also aims to ensure the incident would not have any bearing on the Bangladesh-Saudi relationship, said the report.
Speaking to reporters in Dhaka yesterday, Moni said: “I will go to Riyadh while returning from the German city of Hamburg.” The itinerary is yet to be finalized.

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