Nine Qatari hunters released in Iraq: Report

Nine Qatari hunters released in Iraq: Report

Dubai - Unknown gunmen kidnapped 26 Qatari hunters including royal family members on Wednesday.

By Agencies

Published: Thu 17 Dec 2015, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Dec 2015, 1:17 PM

Nine Qatari hunters out of the 26 kidnapped in Iraq on Wednesday were freed on Thursday, BBC reported. They had been sent to Kuwait.
Officials said on Wednesday that about 100 gunmen kidnapped the hunters, the second high-profile abduction of foreigners in the country in three months.
Dozens of gunmen "kidnapped 27 Qatari hunters...when they were in a camp near the Bassiyah area," Faleh Al Zayadi, the governor of Muthanna province where they were seized, said.
"All of those kidnapped are Qatari and a number of members of the ruling family in Qatar are among them," Zayadi said, adding that the kidnappers used more than 50 vehicles mounted with machineguns. Two Iraqi officers providing security for the party were also taken but later released, he said.
Other officials put the number of people kidnapped at 26.
However, media reports said 19 of the hunters are Qatari nationals and seven are foreigners.
"Twenty-six Qatari hunters were kidnapped at about 3am by unknown gunmen," a police major from Muthanna said.
A local council member from the province gave the same number, saying that the kidnappers were in dozens of pick-up trucks. Iraqi media reported that the gunmen were dressed in military uniforms.
Qatar's foreign ministry has contacted the Iraqi government to obtain "details about the kidnapping of the Qatari citizens and to work to release them as quickly as possible", it said in a statement carried by the official QNA news agency.
The hunters entered Iraq with an "official permit" from the interior ministry, the Qatari statement said.

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