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Saudi editor sacked as column angers minister: colleague

The editor of leading Saudi newspaper Al-Watan has been fired after a columnist upset the interior minister by commenting on the country's religious police, journalists said on Saturday.

world Updated: Jun 20, 2009 15:12 IST

The editor of leading Saudi newspaper Al-Watan has been fired after a columnist upset the interior minister by commenting on the country's religious police, journalists said on Saturday.

Jamal Khashoggi, one of the country's most prominent journalists, was sacked from his position late on Friday, Al-Watan writer Khalid Al Ghannami confirmed.

The firing came after a columnist for the newspaper angered powerful Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz on Tuesday by questioning the power of the country's religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

It was the second time that Khashoggi has been fired from the job. In 2003 he was forced out after the paper ran an article critical of an ancient cleric important to Wahhabism, the ultra-conservative school of Islam dominant in Saudi Arabia.