Police in Turkey investigating the alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have expanded their search, reports say.
Unnamed Turkish officials say his body may have been disposed of in the nearby Belgrad forest or on farmland.
Mr Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, where Turkish officials allege he was murdered.
President Donald Trump said he presumes missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead and that the U.S. response to Saudi Arabia will likely be “very severe” but that he still wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly happened.
Turkish police are searching a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the remains of Khashoggi more than two weeks after he vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, two senior Turkish officials told Reuters.
Trump, who has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, acknowledged for the first time on Thursday that Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, had likely been killed.
“It certainly looks that way to me. It’s very sad,” Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One on a political trip. In an interview with the New York Times on Thursday, Trump based his acknowledgment that Khashoggi was dead on intelligence reports.
Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was murdered at the consulate and his body chopped up and removed. Riyadh strongly denies the allegations and said it is investigating the disappearance of the journalist, who was critical of Saudi rulers, calling for reforms.