CNN) The government of Qatar has said it “regrets any distress or infringement on the personal freedom of any traveler” after it was revealed that at least 18 women from 10 different flights were subjected to compulsory intimate medical examinations following the discovery of an abandoned infant at Doha international airport. Speaking at a hearing in the Australian Senate on Wednesday morning, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said that 18 Australian citizens were among those removed from 10 flights and forced to undergo “grossly inappropriate” inspections while transiting through Qatar on October 2. […] The foreign minister said that Australia was not the only country whose citizens had been affected, but did not specify what other countries were involved. […] The Qatari government’s statement also defended the “urgently-decided” search for the mother, but said that the aim was to “prevent the perpetrators of the horrible crime from escaping.” “The State of Qatar regrets any distress or infringement on the personal freedoms of any traveler caused by this action,” the statement added.
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