26 hunters from the Persian Gulf State of Qatar, including several members of the Qatar royal family, were just kidnapped on a falconry hunting trip in Iraq.
Hunters from Qatar often visit the deserts of southern and western Iraq for falconry hunting trips. However, a group of 26 hunters, including a few members of the Qatar royal family, were just kidnapped by unknown gunmen during their hunt in Samawah Province in southern Iraq.
According to the most recent reports, up to 100 heavily armed gunmen driving dozens of SUVs descended upon the hunting camp early this morning and took hostages. The hunters were escorted by an Iraqi security detail, but they decided not to fight the kidnappers, perhaps because they thought resistance was futile.
At this point, it is unknown who the kidnappers are and no group has claimed responsibility. It is possible that ISIS orchestrated the operation, but Samawah Province is far removed from ISIS-controlled areas.
Iraqi police and military forces are currently in the middle of a large-scale search for the kidnapped hunters, but so far have little progress to report.