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Qatar’s state news agency hacked with fake statement attributed to Emir

UPDATED: The fake statements were attributed to the country’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

Qatar has confirmed that its official state news agency QNA had been hacked, resulting in fake statements on sensitive regional matters.

The fake statement, which criticised US foreign policy, was attributed to the country's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. Despite Qatar confirming the comments were fake the news was carried by media in other Gulf Arab states, potentially renewing tension between Qatar and some of its neighbours.

Furthermore, it was reported that the agency's official Twitter account has also been hacked.

Gulf Arab state's government communications office said: "The Qatar News Agency (QNA) website has been hacked by an unknown entity. A false statement attributed to His Highness has been published.

"An ongoing investigation will be put in place to look into this matter. The statement published has no basis whatsoever, and the competent authorities in the State of Qatar will hold all those (involved) accountable."

The false statement came two after the Qatari leader and US President Donald Trump met in Saudi Arabia as part of the president's recent visit to the Middle East.

As of late, the America media has accused Qatar of terror funding, and in particular faced criticism for its support of rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

UPDATE: Qatar officials have confirmed that they have begun to investigate and a further statement will be released later today.