Qatari hostages in Iraq freed after 16 months

Twenty-six Qatari hostages, including members of the ruling family, were freed on Friday after being held by gunmen in Iraq for over a year, officials say.

The men were abducted there in December 2015 while on a hunting trip near the border with Saudi Arabia.

Their release comes days after a deal was announced in neighbouring Syria for the evacuation of civilians and fighters from four besieged towns, which British newspaper the Guardian reported Qatar had helped mediate in exchange for the freeing of the hunters.

Big ransom and Syria deals win release of royal Qatari hunters— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) April 21, 2017