UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the kidnapping of Qatari nationals in Iraq.
In a telephone conversation yesterday with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the UN chief urged the Iraqi premier to exert all efforts to release the kidnapped Qatari nationals immediately and secure their safety, a statement issued by the Iraqi Premier said yesterday.
The 26 Qatari nationals were on a falconry expedition in southern Iraq when they were abducted at their camp by gunmen who turned up in dozens of pick-up trucks.
Ban offered to help Iraq restore basic services to Ramadi and allow refugees to quickly return to the city after it was recaptured from militants.
Al-Abadi visited Ramadi after his forces drove out Islamic State fighters.
Describing the recapture of Ramadi as “an important victory,” Ban “stressed the need for measures to be taken to restore the rule of law as well as basic services in Ramadi as to allow for the return of internally displaced persons as soon as possible.”
He offered UN support, said a statement from his spokesman.
Iraqi officials yesterday described widespread destruction in Ramadi from months of fighting with more than 3,000 homes ruined and roadside bombs and other explosive devices strewn across the city.
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