Two missing hunters found dead in Iraqi desert after suspected bomb attack

An explosion went off next to their SUV, officials said

Mourners attend the funeral of a Kuwaiti and a Saudi citizen residing in Kuwait, two days after their bodies were found in a desert area in western Iraq, at a cemetery in Kuwait City. AFP
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The badly burnt bodies of a Kuwaiti and a Saudi who went missing in a desert while on a hunting trip in central Iraq were found on Tuesday, security officials said.

According to an Iraqi statement, a bomb went off next to their SUV.

The two were reported missing on Sunday while on a hunting trip in a desert between the provinces of Anbar and Salaheddin in central Iraq, security officials and local hunters said on Monday.

Their bodies were found next to the burnt-out SUV in the middle of a desert in Anbar, the officials told the National.

The two entered Iraq on a tourist visa and had no license for hunting. An investigation is under way to determine the circumstances of their death.

The area is one of the hiding places for ISIS.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al Sabah confirmed to the Kuwaiti News Agency that the two bodies were a Kuwaiti and a Saudi citizen.

“The co-ordination is under way with the Government of the Republic of Iraq to ascertain the circumstances of the incident and the results of the investigations,” the statement added.

Hunters from wealthy Gulf states often make trips to Iraq's southern and western deserts in search of falcons.

In mid-2014, ISIS overran large parts of Iraq and Syria. Anbar and its sprawling desert were under their control.

Iraqi forces, backed by a US-led international coalition, reclaimed all the territory in Iraq held by ISIS in late 2017 after three years of fighting.

But the terrorist group continue to mount hit-and-run attacks, particularly in the vast desert regions of northern and western Iraq, near the Syrian border.

Iraqi security forces often launch air strikes and small-scale military operations against ISIS in remote areas.

Updated: December 29, 2023, 4:43 AM