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Saudi Arabia acknowledges Jamal Khashoggi died in consulate, says 18 detained

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By Phil Helsel  with NBC News World News
Image: Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi, then general manager of a new Arabic news channel speaks during a press conference, in Manama, Bahrain.   -   Copyright  Hasan Jamali

Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday local time that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in that country's consulate in Istanbul, and said that 18 Saudi citizens have been arrested.

The Saudi general prosecutor also claimed that Khashoggi, who was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was involved in a "quarrel and fighting by hand" which led to Khashoggi's death.

The statement by the state Saudi Press Agency comes amid a firestorm of criticism against the Saudi crown prince, and over U.S. President Donald Trump's response to the crisis.

Khashoggi disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Washington Post's editorial page has demanded a full accounting of what happened to Khashoggi, and in an editorial published on Friday accused Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of "conspiring with the Saudi leadership, buying time for them to construct a cover story that will deflect a wave of international outrage and discourage Congress from sanctioning the regime."