Qatar announced that it started making contacts with the Iraqi government on Wednesday over the kidnapping of several Qataris who entered the country for a hunting trip, after it was officially authorized by the Qatari Ministry of Interior and in coordination with the Iraqi Embassy in Doha.
Some of the missing were later released Wednesday, after the launch of a search for the kidnapped, who numbered 17 at the start.
Details behind the incident were contradictory. It was reported that the men were taken from Al-Mathna province in southern Iraq, its provincial police department announced that the kidnapped were transferred in governmental tinted vehicles. On the other hand the Republic of Iraq Ministry of Interior mentioned that the kidnap took place because the Qataris did not commit to issued instructions.
Al-Mathna’s police chief officer Saaran al-Aajibi said in a press conference held on Wednesday that unidentified gunmen in tinted governmental vehicles entered the southern desert area of the Al-Mathna at dawn kidnapping 17 out of 26 Qataris that were on a hunting trip, taking them to an undefined place.
Al-Aajibi added that a committee of Al-Mathna’s high rank police and army officers are carrying out an investigation to uncover the details of the incident.
Meanwhile governmental local sources in Al-Mathna province pointed figures at ISIS for the kidnapping, in addition to a Ministry of Interior official source, who requested to remain anonymous, telling Asharq Al-Awsat that attempts to search for the missing in the Samawah desert continued. The area is a large barren desert with several roads and exits.
In Doha Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it would be sending the Minister’s Assistant for Foreign Affairs Mr. Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi to follow up closely on the process with the Iraqi government, ensuring the safety of Qatari citizens there.