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By Staff Writers, Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Tuesday, Jul 11, 2017

Gulf crisis: Latest Twitter war conjures up genies

Social media goes otherworldly after the creation of a hashtag accusing Qatar of "dealing with genies"

The latest Twitter war surrounding the crisis in the Gulf has taken a supernatural turn after a senior correspondent with a Saudi Arabia-based news network accused Qatar of witchcraft.

Hundreds of social media users over the weekend sarcastically hit back online under the hashtag "Qatar deals with genies", created after Al-Arabiya's Khalil Walid Abajoud posted a series of tweets accusing Doha of conjuring spirits to assist it in its dispute with neighbouring Gulf countries.

"Sorcerers from Senegal and Mauritania get millions of dollars after sheikhs in Qatar offer to bring down spirits and harness genies to solve the crisis," wrote Abajoud.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5 over allegations the country funds "terrorism" and is too close to Iran - allegations Qatar has repeatedly denied.

The Saudi-led group offered to end the blockade last month in return for Qatar's compliance on 13 points, including to shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network, to scale back ties with Iran and to close a Turkish military base.

Qatar has rejected the demands as an attempt to limit its sovereignty, while human rights agencies have accused the Saudi-led group of attempting to curtail press freedom in the region.

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