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Qatar releases captive Bahraini bodybuilder captured at sea

Qatar has released a bodybuilding champion and two other Bahrainis who had been detained during fishing trips, Bahrain’s Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

Manama on Sunday demanded Qatari authorities release bodybuilder Sami Al Haddad, who was arrested along with a compatriot on Friday in the third such incident in recent months and which occurred after Bahrain and its Arab allies agreed to end a political row with Doha.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that Qatari authorities had also released a Bahraini sailor arrested in December. It said their boats were still being held.

“Bahrain’s embassy in Oman confirmed that the Bahraini citizens have arrived there,” it said.

There was no immediate comment from Qatari authorities.

Manama on Sunday said it would reopen its airspace to Qatar as of Jan. 11 under a U.S.-backed deal earlier this month to end the dispute in which Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in mid-2017.

All four nations have resumed air links with Qatar. A senior Emirati official has said that restoring diplomatic ties would take more time as parties rebuild trust.

The states imposed the boycott over accusations that Qatar supports terrorism. Doha denies that and says the embargo aims to curtail its sovereignty.

Source: Reuters

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