Iraqi officials say IS bomb killed Kuwaiti and Saudi hunters in Anbar
A bomb blast in a desert area of Iraq killed a Kuwaiti and a Saudi national who were on on a hunting trip, Iraqi authorities said on Wednesday.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry Security Media Cell said in a statement that the bodies of Saudi citizen Anwar Al-Zafiri and Kuwaiti citizen Faisal Al-Mutairi were found in the Anbar desert, where they "died as the result of an explosive device left by the terrorist Islamic State gangs”.
The statement said the bomb was an old one, likely from previous operations of the IS group in Anbar.
The ministry expressed its condolences, saying Baghdad will coordinate with the embassies of the two countries for the repatriation of their bodies.
It also emphasised the importance of adhering to entry visa procedures for tourism and hunting, as well as safety measures.
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have yet to respond to the Iraqi investigation, however some Kuwaiti and Iraqi social media users expressed doubt on Iraq’s version of events, speculating that the pair might have been killed by Iraqi militias.
In 2016, an Iraqi militia kidnapped several Qatari hunters who were subsequently released after the payment of a ransom.
Iraqi security sources informed Reuters that the desert region is a known hiding place for active IS militants.