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ISTANBUL – The Latest on the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month (all times local):
A United Nations spokesman says U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is "deeply troubled" by the confirmation of the violent death of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, following Saudi Arabia's acknowledgement that he was killed in its Istanbul consulate.
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Guterres "stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi's death and full accountability for those responsible."
Saudi Arabia said early Saturday that the columnist for The Washington Post had been killed in a "fistfight" in the consulate after he went there on Oct. 2. It says 18 Saudi suspects are in custody and intelligence officials have been fired.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to speak at the opening of a stadium early Saturday afternoon, though it is unclear whether he will comment on Saudi Arabia's acknowledgement that Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul consulate.
Erdogan, who has promised a thorough investigation of Khashoggi's killing, is to make public remarks in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir.
Turkish pro-government media had said for days that an official hit squad traveled from Saudi Arabia to kill Khashoggi, who vanished after entering the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2. That version differs from the account of Saudi Arabia, which said early Saturday that the Saudi journalist died in a "fistfight."
Saudi Arabia says 18 Saudi suspects are in custody and that intelligence officials were fired.
U.S. President Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody for Khashoggi's killing is a "good first step," though some U.S. lawmakers say Saudi Arabia's account isn't credible and seems designed to exonerate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of any involvement.
A senior member of Turkey's ruling party has criticized Saudi Arabia over its acknowledgement that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a "fistfight" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Leyla Sahin Usta says the kingdom should have given its explanation "before the situation reached this point."
Usta, a human rights official in the ruling Justice and Development Party, said Saturday that Turkish authorities, including prosecutors, forensic and security officials, have already reached some conclusions as part of their investigation into Khashoggi's death.
She says it would have been "more valuable" if Saudi officials had admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its diplomatic post.
Saudi Arabia initially denied allegations that the columnist for The Washington Post had been killed in its consulate. It acknowledged early Saturday that he had and said 18 Saudi suspects were in custody and intelligence officials had been fired.
Amnesty International says the "impartiality" of a Saudi investigation into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi would remain in question after authorities in the kingdom said the journalist died after a fight in the consulate in Istanbul.
Amnesty's Rawya Rageh says early Saturday the rights group and other organizations have been very clear that what is needed is "an impartial and independent investigation by the U.N. to find out what happened and ensure justice" for Khashoggi.
She said rights groups have been concerned of a "whitewash" in the investigation.
Khashoggi disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Saudi authorities say a fight broke out in the consulate after which Khashoggi died.
Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a "fistfight" in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, finally admitting that the writer had been slain at its diplomatic post.
Authorities say 18 Saudi suspects were in custody and intelligence officials had been fired.
The overnight announcements in Saudi state media came more than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée, and never came out.
They also contradicted assertions in Turkish media leaks that Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered inside the consulate, claims the kingdom had rejected as "baseless."
But growing international pressure and comments by U.S. officials up to President Donald Trump forced the kingdom to acknowledge Khashoggi's death.