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Iraq considers next move after intercepting ‘world’s largest’ ransom for kidnapped Qataris

27 Apr

Officials at Baghdad International Airport became suspicious earlier this month when their X-ray machines could not see into 23 large bags unloaded from a Qatari plane, producing only a black image because the contents were wrapped in a special material impenetrable to detecting devices. They were further amazed when they opened the bags to discover that they contained hundreds of millions of dollars and euros in cash worth a total of $500m (£389m), says an Iraqi source.

It is now clear that the money was ransom for 24 Qataris, several of them leading members of the Qatari royal al-Thani family, and two Saudis who had been hunting with falcons with official permission in supposedly safe southern Iraq when they were kidnapped 16 months ago by a Shia militia task force. A deal to get them released has been complicated by negotiations involving Qatar and Iran as well as Shia and Sunni militias over the simultaneous evacuation of people long besieged in four towns, two Shia and two Sunni, in northern and southern  Syria respectively.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/qatari-royals-kidnapped-iraq-ransom-half-billion-shia-militia-syria-saudi-hunters-baghdad-a7703946.html

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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Middle East

 

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