QATARI NATIONALS KIDNAPPED IN IRAQ
Gunmen kidnapped at least 26 Qatari nationals, which included some members of the royal family, in the Iraqi Desert while they were on a hunting trip.
About 100 gunmen kidnapped 26 Qataris from their desert hunting camp in the area of Busaya in the Samawa desert near the Saudi border, a largely desolate expanse where armed militia groups predominate. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the mass abduction. In a statement, Qatar's Foreign Ministry said it was working with the Iraqi government to secure their release “as soon as possible”. It added that the hunters had entered Iraqi territory with a permit from Iraq's Interior Ministry which in turn released a statement saying the hunters were “moving in a sprawling desert area and did not abide by Interior Ministry instructions of not leaving the secured areas towards unsecured ones”. The next day, seven Qatari citizens, one Kuwaiti national and one man from Saudi Arabia were set free. The Arab Parliament and the GCC states have condemned the kidnapping, calling it a shameful act and a flagrant violation of international law and human rights and urged the Iraqi government to take measures to ensure the safety of the abductees, and release them as soon as possible.