Female passengers on 10 planes flying out of Doha were forced to endure invasive physical examinations, Australia’s foreign minister said, greatly expanding the number of women previously thought affected.
It was revealed on Sunday that women were removed from a Sydney-bound Qatar Airways flight in Doha earlier this month and forced to undergo vaginal inspections after a newborn baby was found abandoned in an airport bathroom.
Qatar apologized Wednesday but offered no immediate explanation of how officials decided to perform invasive vaginal examinations on the women.
The incident has sparked a diplomatic row between Australia and Qatar, with Canberra lodging protests with the Middle East nation over the treatment of its citizens.
Doha’s Hamad International airport previously confirmed a broad outline of events, without providing details of the procedures, or the number of women and flights involved.
It also launched an appeal Sunday for the child’s mother to come forward, saying the baby remains unidentified but is “safe under the professional care of medical and social workers.”