Qatar royal freed by Iraq kidnappers after 4 month ordeal



DOHA // A member of Qatar’s ruling family kidnapped in Iraq last year with 26 other Qataris has been freed, along with a Pakistani man who was travelling with them, Qatar’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

About 100 unidentified armed men seized the group of Qatari hunters from a desert camp in southern Iraq near the Saudi border in December. At least nine members of the group managed to escape and crossed into Kuwait.

“One man is Pakistani, the second is an Al-Thani from the royal family,” a foreign ministry official said. “Efforts are still ongoing to free the rest of the 26 kidnapped,” the ministry said earlier in a statement on the official QNA news agency.

The official gave no details of who had captured them or how the release had been secured.

No one has claimed responsibility for the abduction of the hunters, who were seized in a largely desolate expanse of territory dominated by militias who have accused Doha of meddling in Iraq’s affairs.

Gunmen stormed the Iraqi desert camp near the Saudi border at dawn on December 16, kidnapping the falconry hunters and others there.

The identities of those taken was not made clear, although in December, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said those taken included children.

The hunting party was in Iraq on an officially licensed expedition which is approved by Iraqi authorities who offer local police officers as guards.

However, the Iraqi interior ministry previously accused the hunters of not following their instructions and going into unsecured areas.

Qatar has put pressure on the Shiite-led government in Baghdad to help to secure the hostages’ release.

While Iraq and a United States-led coalition battled ISIL in other parts of the country, the predominantly Shiite province of Muthana remained under the control of the nation’s central government.

Gulf Arabs often brave the risks of travel to countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Iraq to hunt with falcons without the bag limits and conservation measures they face at home. Their favoured prey is the houbara bustard – a large game bird once hunted to near-extinction in the Middle East.

* Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press

Past winners of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

2016 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

2015 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes-GP)

2014 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-GP)

2013 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

2012 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

2011 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

2010 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

2009 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)

 

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Rating: 2/5

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Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
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Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

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One in nine do not have enough to eat

Created in 1961, the World Food Programme is pledged to fight hunger worldwide as well as providing emergency food assistance in a crisis.

One of the organisation’s goals is the Zero Hunger Pledge, adopted by the international community in 2015 as one of the 17 Sustainable Goals for Sustainable Development, to end world hunger by 2030.

The WFP, a branch of the United Nations, is funded by voluntary donations from governments, businesses and private donations.

Almost two thirds of its operations currently take place in conflict zones, where it is calculated that people are more than three times likely to suffer from malnutrition than in peaceful countries.

It is currently estimated that one in nine people globally do not have enough to eat.

On any one day, the WFP estimates that it has 5,000 lorries, 20 ships and 70 aircraft on the move.

Outside emergencies, the WFP provides school meals to up to 25 million children in 63 countries, while working with communities to improve nutrition. Where possible, it buys supplies from developing countries to cut down transport cost and boost local economies.

 

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Zakat definitions

Zakat: an Arabic word meaning ‘to cleanse’ or ‘purification’.

Nisab: the minimum amount that a Muslim must have before being obliged to pay zakat. Traditionally, the nisab threshold was 87.48 grams of gold, or 612.36 grams of silver. The monetary value of the nisab therefore varies by current prices and currencies.

Zakat Al Mal: the ‘cleansing’ of wealth, as one of the five pillars of Islam; a spiritual duty for all Muslims meeting the ‘nisab’ wealth criteria in a lunar year, to pay 2.5 per cent of their wealth in alms to the deserving and needy.

Zakat Al Fitr: a donation to charity given during Ramadan, before Eid Al Fitr, in the form of food. Every adult Muslim who possesses food in excess of the needs of themselves and their family must pay two qadahs (an old measure just over 2 kilograms) of flour, wheat, barley or rice from each person in a household, as a minimum.

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Price, base / as tested: Dh182,178
Engine: 3.7-litre V6
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EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Tips for used car buyers
  • Choose cars with GCC specifications
  • Get a service history for cars less than five years old
  • Don’t go cheap on the inspection
  • Check for oil leaks
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  • Validate warranty and service contracts with the relevant agency and and make sure they are valid when ownership is transferred
  • If you are planning to sell the car soon, buy one with a good resale value. The two most popular cars in the UAE are black or white in colour and other colours are harder to sell

Tarek Kabrit, chief executive of Seez, and Imad Hammad, chief executive and co-founder of CarSwitch.com

The years Ramadan fell in May

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1888

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All kick-off times UAE (+4 GMT)
Brackets denote aggregate score

Tuesday:
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Manchester United (0) v Sevilla (0), 11.45pm

Wednesday:
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Barcelona (1) v Chelsea (1), 11.45pm

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Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
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Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).


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