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Police in Turkey believe that a missing Saudi journalist may have been killed inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul and his body was driven out of the compound, Reuters reported on Sunday, quoting unidentified Turkish officials.

Khashoggi, who writes for The Washington Post's Global Opinions section, visited the consulate Tuesday to obtain documents related to his upcoming wedding, according to his fiancée and friends.

Turkish police claimed on Saturday that a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist critical of the kingdom's rulers was murdered in its consulate in Istanbul.

A USA official said Turkish government officials have concluded that Khashoggi was likely killed inside the consulate by a team that flew in with two private jets.

A Turkish official separately told the AP that authorities believe Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate.

Another official confirmed the story.

It goes on to say that a "security delegation of Saudi investigators" arrived in Istanbul on Saturday, and that they were there to assist in investigating Khashoggi's disappearance.

Ankara announced on Saturday it had opened an official probe into his disappearance.

"We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", he said, adding that "we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do..."

Khashoggi had lived in self-imposed exile in Washington for the past year, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policies including the war in Yemen and a crackdown on dissent in which dozens of people have been detained.

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"The 33-year-old crown prince went on to say that Saudi Arabia had agreed to buy $110 billion worth of U.S. weapons and signed investment deals worth billions more, some "$400 billion" in total, since Trump took office in early 2017, and described the deals as "a good achievement" for Trump.

A spokesperson for the US State Department said it could not confirm the reports but was "closely following the situation".

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists demanded Riyadh give "a full and credible account" of what happened to Khashoggi inside the consulate. "We have nothing to hide", in the interview published Friday.

That relationship is already strained over several issues, including Turkey's support for Qatar in the blockade by Saudi Arabia; its closeness to the Muslim Brotherhood - blacklisted by Riyadh as a terrorist organisation; and its rapprochement with Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran.

The source noted "Saudi Arabia's appreciation for the brotherly Turkish government's acceptance of the request".

Khashoggi is a longtime Saudi journalist, foreign correspondent, editor and columnist whose work has been controversial in the past in the ultraconservative Sunni kingdom.

In a March 6 Guardian editorial co-authored with Robert Lacey, he wrote: "For his domestic reform programme, the crown prince deserves praise".

The ultra-conservative kingdom in June lifted a ban on women driving.

Khashoggi was born in the western Saudi city of Medina, revered in Islam as the burial place of the Prophet Mohammed.