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Turkish media has published images of an alleged 15-member Saudi "assassination squad" and video of suspicious movements at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul following journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance a week ago.

Key points:

  • Images and video of alleged hit squad flood Turkish media
  • Sources say a special team was ordered in by highest level of Saudi court
  • Trump says he will raise missing journalist with Saudi Arabia

It comes as The New York Times reports that highly placed Turkish security sources told the publication that Khashoggi was killed within hours of entering the consulate by a special hit squad on the orders of the Saudi royal court, and that his body had been dismembered with a bone saw.

"It is like Pulp Fiction," one official told the Times.

Saudi Arabia has remained silent as the images have played across television networks in Turkey and around the world.

A man enters the Saudi Arabian consulate

Turkish officials fear the team killed Khashoggi, who has been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his writing.

The kingdom has dismissed the allegation as "baseless", but has released no evidence supporting its version of events which is that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed shortly after entering.

Turkish media awash with images, video and theories

State-run broadcaster TRT aired video purportedly showing the Saudis arriving by private jet and then leaving a hotel.

The footage shows Khashoggi entering the consulate on October 2. An hour and 54 minutes later, according to the time stamp, a black Mercedes Vito with diplomatic license plates, which resembled a van parked outside of the consulate when the writer walked in, drives some 2 kilometres to the consul's home, where it parks inside a garage.

The footage all seemed to come from surveillance cameras, which would have been posted throughout the district housing the Saudi consulate and other diplomatic missions. No one has produced any such footage of Khashoggi leaving the consulate.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the "assassination squad" apparently taken at passport control. It said they checked into two hotels in Istanbul on October 2 and left later that day.

Disappearance puts pressure and scrutiny on Saudi Arabia

headshot of Jamal Khashoggi wearing a white head covering and glasses, mid-speech.

Khashoggi had written a series of columns for the Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Arabia's assertive Prince Mohammed, who has led a widely publicised drive to reform the conservative Sunni monarchy but has also presided over the arrests of activists and businessmen.

Mr Erdogan has not accused Saudi Arabia of being responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance but has said that if the Saudis have footage of him leaving the consulate they should release it.

Saudi Arabia is a major investor in Turkey, despite Ankara's support for the Gulf nation of Qatar, which is under a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations.

Politicians in the US, Riyadh's main ally, have warned that any harm done to the Washington Post contributor will jeopardise America's relations with the world's largest oil exporter.

Photograph taken at twilight, as a man in a suit pulls a large metal barrier marked "Polis" closed.

On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. She said the writer first visited the consulate on September 28 "despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger".

He later returned October 2 after being promised the necessary paperwork so the two could be married.

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance," Ms Cengiz wrote.

Mr Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi.

ABC/Wires

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