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Qatar says 6 of its soldiers wounded on Saudi-Yemeni border

Soldiers were injured while 'defending the southern borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia'
President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi meeting Qatari ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Hamad al-Hajri in Aden in 2015 (AFP)

Qatar has said that six of its soldiers were wounded on the Saudi border with Yemen while serving in a Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

Qatar's defence ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency QNA on Saturday evening that the six were injured "while conducting their duties within the Qatari contingent defending the southern borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia".

It gave no further details on the incident.

Al Jazeera television reported in 2015 that Qatar had deployed 1,000 troops to Yemen. Other reports said the force was only being stationed at the Saudi border with Yemen.

Qatari media have reported that at least four soldiers have died while serving in the Saudi-led coalition, which intervened in Yemen in March 2015 at the behest of the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi after the Houthis advanced on his headquarters in Aden, forcing him to flee.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, displaced more than 3 million people and ruined the economy.

Gulf tensions

Qatar and some of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members are embroiled in a dispute over purported remarks by the Qatari emir in which he is alleged to have criticised their policies and called for better ties with arch-foe Iran. Doha denies that the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, made the comments.

Qatar has said that the website of its state news agency, which carried the alleged remarks, was hacked by unidentified people who intended to divide the Western-allied GCC.

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While Gulf states have made no public comment on the dispute, local Saudi and UAE media have heaped scorn on Qatar, accusing it of reneging on promises made during an earlier row to stop supporting Islamists and of interfering in the affairs of its neighbours.

The remarks attributed to the emir came days after a visit by US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia, a trip he used to rally Muslim and Arab support against terrorism and Iran. 

UAE leaks

On Saturday, hackers released email correspondence between UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, and foreign policy figures, including members of the pro-Israel think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is funded by businessman Sheldon Adelson, an ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The emails also detail an agenda of a forthcoming agenda, between FDD and UAE government officials, scheduled for 11-14 June.

The agenda includes an extensive discussion between the two sides on Qatar. They are scheduled to discuss, for example, "Al Jazeera as an instrument of regional instability". Media network Al Jazeera is based in Qatar and is state-funded.