Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saudi, Qatari media in power struggle

Qatari King Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

Source: Press TV

New dimensions have emerged of a simmering tension between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as the Saudi news channel Al Arabiya reports an unconfirmed military coup attempt in Doha.

In a report not confirmed by independent sources, Al-Arabiya alleged that a number of high-ranking military officers have risen against the regime of Qatari King Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

According to the Saudi news channel, the coup was foiled following the arrest of the officers involved in the effort, and American helicopters transferred the Qatari Emir and his wife to an unknown location.

The Al-Arabiya report was however removed from the channel’s website after the story was published.

Press TV contacted Al-Arabiya and Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera for comment, but did not receive a clear response.

There is speculation that Al Arabiya might have mistakenly reported the news of a similar coup attempt in 2011.

Coups are not uncommon in Qatar. The Qatari Emir came to power in 1995 after staging a coup against his own father.

Tensions have been growing between Doha and Riyadh in recent months. This came after the Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani was reportedly caught on tape calling for Qatari troops to invade Saudi Arabia's oil-rich eastern regions.

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