Saudi Arabia has rejected threats to punish it over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, saying the kingdom would retaliate against any sanctions with tougher measures, the official state news agency reported.

The comments came after US President Donald Trump threatened “severe punishment” for Riyadh if it turned out Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi authorities and a legal resident of the United States, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Both the White House and the kingdom are under mounting pressure as concern grows over the fate of the veteran journalist, who has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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