Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of the kingdom, has seen a quick rise to power [Cliff Owen/AP]

This article was first published on October 20, 2018 and updated on March 9, 2020.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, appears to be further tightening his grip on power following another wave of detentions against perceived challengers to his rule.

Among those detained in the latest sweep were two of the kingdom’s most prominent royals, former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and the king’s last surviving full brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz.

The Saudi government has not officially responded to reports that the princes were accused of a coup plot against Saudi King Salman and the crown prince, widely

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