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Saudi Arabia, UAE block access to many Qatari news sites amid uproar

Access to some Qatari media sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Access to some Qatari media sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

DUBAI: Access to various Qatari media sites have been blocked in Saudi Arabia and the UAE after the state news agency carried inflammatory comments attributed to the nation’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Qatar News Agency (QNA) ran comments by the country’s leader said to have been made at a National Service graduation ceremony. The emir reportedly endorsed Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah and reportedly criticized the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt for waging a campaign against Doha.

Following an outpour of criticism on social media, access to some state-sponsored media outlets — including the Arabic-language website and phone application of Al-Jazeera and Middle East Eye — were blocked in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

A few hours after the controversial statements broke on QNA, the government’s communication team stated that the news agency’s website had been hacked, however, the initial report was simultaneously posted in different languages and on social media platforms, where it remained.

The purported comments are in line with recent criticism waged against the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in state-sponsored media outlets such as Al-Jazeera, Al-Arab and the London-based Middle East Eye.

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