Saudi Arabia blocked access to several Qatari news websites after they carried fake articles about Gulf efforts to isolate Iran, stories Qatari officials said were the result of a hack, exposing tensions among Sunni-ruled monarchies seeking to form a united front against the Islamic Republic.
Qatar said hackers first posted a fake story on the Qatar News Agency website at 12.14 a.m. that included comments falsely attributed to the Qatari emir describing attempts to confront Iran as a mistake. They then took over the agency’s Twitter account to announce that Qatar was recalling its ambassadors from other Gulf countries and Egypt.
The reports, which were later deleted, were picked up by Saudi and Dubai-based media. Regulators in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates then barred access to the Qatari sites, according to the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television.
Qatari government spokesman Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani said the postings were false and the result of a hack of QNA by an “unknown entity.”
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