Polisario Front Frees 201 Prisoners of War
The Polisario Front, which wants independence for Moroccan-ruled Western Sahara, on Thursday freed 201 Moroccan prisoners of war.
The prisoners were freed in the Algerian town of Tindouf, 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) southwest of Algiers.
They were handed over by the local Red Crescent to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony, which was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Fighting raged between Moroccan forces and the Polisario Front, which has Algerian backing, from 1975 until 1991.
Since then, the movement has freed some 800 war prisoners, but 1,685 are still being held. Some of them have been in captivity for more than 20 years.
The Polisario said Wednesday its decision to free the prisoners was motivated "by purely humanitarian considerations." -- ALGIERS (AFP)
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