Up to 10 popular clerics, some with large social media followings, are detained as Prince Mohammed cracks down on dissent

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has launched a broad crackdown on dissent, targeting clerics, public critics and political rivals, as he moves to consolidate his newfound power amid a standoff with Qatar.

The campaign has led to the detention of up to 10 popular clerics – the biggest mass arrest of its kind in the kingdom’s recent history. It follows a failed recent attempt to bring an end to the three-month feud between Riyadh and its tiny neighbour, which has defied calls to sever links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, whom the oil-rich state and its allies in the Gulf view as subversive threats.

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