Saudi Announces Prisoner Swap With Yemen’s Houthis

Photo: Anadolu Agency
Photo: Anadolu Agency

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1 Jumadil Akhir  1437/10 March 2016 (MINA) –  The Saudi-led coalition on Wednesday announced a prisoner swap deal with Yemen’s Shia Houthi group amid reports about peace talks to end the conflict.

In a statement cited by the Saudi news agency, the coalition said Yemeni tribal figures have sought to create a state of calm along the Saudi-Yemeni border to allow medical and aid material into Yemeni villages, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“A detained Saudi lieutenant was recovered in return for seven Yemenis captured in operation areas near the Saudi border,” the statement said.

The coalition welcomed the state of calm along the Saudi-Yemeni border, which it said could lead to a political solution of the conflict.

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A Houthi source told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday that the Shia group was holding secret talks with Saudi Arabia with a view to ending the conflict in Yemen.

According to the source, the Oman-sponsored talks have resulted in a ceasefire along Yemeni-Saudi border.

Yemen has remained in turmoil since September 2014, when the Shia Houthi group and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

In March 2015, Riyadh and its Arab allies began an extensive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains in Yemen and restoring Hadi’s government.

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According to the UN, more than 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen — about half of them civilians — since the Saudi-led coalition first began its air campaign. (T/P010/R07)

Miraj Islamic News Agency (MINA)