Royal Hunting Rare Bird Attacked

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A group of Pakistani villagers brandishing guns and knives attacked the convoy of a Qatar royal family member on an expedition to hunt the houbara bustard, a rare bird whose meat is prized by Arab sheikhs. A Qatari official confirmed the attack by a large group of men on the convoy.

“Qatari hunters apply and pay for government hunting permits and donate to local communities and wildlife conservation,” the official said. “Unfortunately there have been attacks led by armed groups.”

Critics say that hunting with falcons, a practice Arab nomads used to survive life in the desert, is today a reckless hobby that threatens the houbara and funnels money into areas controlled by militias as in December 2015, about 100 gunmen kidnapped at least 26 Qataris from a desert hunting camp in Iraq near the Saudi border.

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