Crew, passengers saw plane interception: UAE

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The UAE's state-run WAM news agency reported this incident citing the country's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

Later reports from Bahrain indicated that 2 not 1 commercial aircraft were involved and Bloomberg indicated they belonged to Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways.

The incident happened days after Qatar filed complaint to the United Nations about a UAE military jet's alleged violation of its airspace last December.

The NHRC affirmed in the statement the illegality of this measure and its violation of all worldwide and regional human rights conventions, instruments and understandings, and it holds the Emirati authorities responsible for the safety and security of this Qatari citizen and demands his immediate release.

Notably, the UAE is a member of a Saudi-led bloc of Arab states that collectively severed ties with Qatar past year for allegedly supporting terrorist groups in the region. But while Trump's comments reflect his administration's preference for a negotiated solution to the dispute, his stance has been inconsistent and he may still give his support to the other side, said Graham Griffiths, an analyst at consultancy Control Risks in Dubai.

She said: "It seems that the Civil Aviation Authority in the UAE, by publishing false claims, is trying to pre-empt events and cover over news of the Emirati plane penetration of Qatari airspace".

He said Bahraini radar, as well as crew and passengers on board, saw the military aircraft, "which constituted a clear and explicit threat to the lives of innocent civilians". Qatar denied the action but nervousness lingered and had sparked a sharp sell off late in the prior session.

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The interception drew the condemnation of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Qatari officials, for their part, have strenuously denied the allegations.

Qatari officials also accused Gulf rivals of seeking regime change in Doha and replacing Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al-Thani with Sheikh Abdullah - who belongs to a branch of the Al-Thani family that has seen its power eroded but is still well-connected in the Gulf.

The incident follows the claims of Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's royal family, that he was being detained in the UAE.

In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia condemned "the intercept of two UAE civil planes bound for Bahrain by Qatari jetfighters".

It flew out over global waters near the northern tip of Qatar, a peninsular nation that juts into the Persian Gulf, before arriving in the island nation of Bahrain 46 minutes after takeoff.

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