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| 15 January, 2018

UAE says Qatari fighter jets intercepted civilian flight

The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Bahrain.

Dassault Mirage 2000D fighter jets from the French Air Force during an international airshow in southern Spain, July 30, 2017. Image for illustrative purposes.

Dassault Mirage 2000D fighter jets from the French Air Force during an international airshow in southern Spain, July 30, 2017. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Jon Nazca
DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates said on Monday that Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirati civilian aircraft during a routine flight to Bahrain, state news agency WAM reported, escalating a months-old feud between the Gulf Arab states.

The UAE Civil Aviation authority condemned the alleged incident and said it would take "all necessary legal measures to ensure the safety and security of civil air traffic."

There was no immediate Qatari reaction to the report, and it was not clear if the flight was forced to divert its course.

The UAE is one of four Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt that imposed travel, diplomatic and trade sanctions on Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. Qatar has denied the charges.

On Friday, Qatar filed a complaint to the United Nations about an alleged violation of its airspace in December by an Emirati military aircraft.

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Qatari authorities said the violation on Dec. 21, which the UAE denied, lasted one minute.



(Reporting By Noah Browning; Editing by Catherine Evans, William Maclean) ((noah.browning@thomsonreuters.com;))