Qatari hunting group 'kidnapped' by large convoy of unknown gunmen on Iraq-Saudi Arabia border

Police officials in the region have confirmed the incident in the early hours of Wednesday morning

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 16 December 2015 01:00
Comments
Iran-backed Shia militias operate across southern Iraq
Iran-backed Shia militias operate across southern Iraq

A large convoy of unknown gunmen have captured 26 Qatari nationals on a hunting trip in Iraq, according to officials.

The incident took place near the border with Saudi Arabia in the early hours of Wednesday morning, police said, and a major search operation has been launched.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Samawa regional governor Falih al-Zayady said: "An armed group driving dozens of pickup trucks kidnapped at least 26 Qatari hunters from their camp in the area of Busaya in Samawa desert near Saudi borders."

The Qatari Emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, attended the closing session of the 36th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 10 December

While the Qatari visitors were accompanied by a small Iraqi security force, they apparently surrendered in the face of the overwhelming militant force.

A police colonel said: "We are talking about at least 100 gunmen armed with light and medium weapons broke into the Qatari camp and abducted the hunters at around 3 am local time on Wednesday."

Citizens from various Gulf states make regular trips to the Samawa desert around this time of year for falconry and hunting festivals, with gazelles as their prey.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnap. Isis militants are known to travel in large convoys, but its areas of influence tend not to extend so far down into Shia-dominated southern Iraq.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in