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Members of Qatari hunting party 'escape kidnappers in Iraq'

At least nine members of Qatari hunting party flee abductors and cross into Kuwait, sources say
Qataris often hunt with falcons (AFP)

At least nine members of a Qatari hunting party have managed to escape kidnappers in Iraq, sources say, a day after they were abducted near the Saudi border.

The Reuters news agency quoted an Iraqi police colonel as saying that those who had escaped had crossed into Kuwait on Thursday and were safe.

Al-Jazeera Arabic's website said those who escaped included seven Qataris, a Saudi, a Kuwaiti and a number of "Asians" - a likely reference to workers among the party.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the abduction from a camp near Busaya in the Samawa desert. Reports said their were at least 27 people in the party.

A local police chief told Reuters on Wednesday that the hunting party had been accompanied by Iraqi security forces, but that they had decided not to engage the more numerous gunmen. 

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