Yemen’s Houthi rebels have freed nine Saudi prisoners of war in exchange for 100 Yemenis as a “humanitarian” move, a year after Riyadh began its military operations in the country.
“A first step of understanding and respect for the humanitarian aspect [of the conflict] was the exchange of prisoners today,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a statement on Saturday, adding the freed Saudi forces had been captured in some fronts in Yemen.
Earlier in the day, a US airstrike in the Yemen’s southern coastal Abyan province reportedly killed 14 men suspected of belonging to al-Qaeda. The aerial raid destroyed a government intelligence headquarters in the provincial capital Zinjibar, which had fallen in the hands of militants.
The al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen has taken advantage of the chaos and the breakdown of security to tighten its grip on parts of southeast Yemen.
On Saturday, thousands of Yemeni people gathered at Saba’een Square of the capital Sana’a to denounce the Saudi military campaign that has killed over 6,000 people, about half of them civilians.
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