Middle East

Iraq says 'friendly' nations contacted over Qatari captives

Iraq's prime minister says "friendly countries" and its neighbors have been contacted over the fate of captive Qataris, including ruling family members, kidnapped in the country in late 2015.

Haider al-Abadi's comments late Tuesday came as suspicion over the December 2015 kidnappings has fallen on Shiite militias, suggesting Iraq may have reached out to Iran to secure their release.

Iranian media did not immediately report on al-Abadi's comments.

Al-Abadi also told journalists that Qatar's non-resident ambassador came to Iraq "to help in their release." A royal Qatari aircraft has been in Baghdad since Saturday.

Qatari officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Associated Press reported last week that a Qatari ruling family member paid $2 million in an effort to secure the hostages' release.