DOHA: A member of the Qatari royal family and a Pakistani have been released by kidnappers in Iraq after nearly four months in captivity, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Wednesday. The pair were among more than 20 people abducted from a desert hunting party close to the Saudi border last December. Reports at the time of the kidnapping said that those seized included members of the emirate’s ruling family. The ministry initially announced the release of a Qatari citizen and his Asian companion who were kidnapped in Iraq. “Efforts are still ongoing to free the rest of the 26 kidnapped,” a brief statement published on the official QNA news agency said. A foreign ministry spokesman told AFP that negotiations were continuing with the Iraqi government to try to secure the release of the remaining hostages. It is not known if any ransom was paid for the release of the two men.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2016.