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Saudi Arabia Releases 163 Houthi Prisoners

Saudi Arabia Releases 163 Houthi Prisoners

Friday, 6 May, 2022 - 12:15
Released Houthi prisoners are seen aboard a plane. Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi-led Arab coalition announced on Friday the release of 163 prisoners from the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen as part of a Saudi humanitarian initiative.

The coalition said the initiative stems from a humanitarian need to resolve the prisoner file and support peace efforts.

It hailed the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross in coordinating the release.

On Friday, 108 prisoners were flown to the Yemeni interim capital Aden and nine others to Houthi-held Sanaa.

The coalition said nine foreign fighters were turned over to their countries' embassies.

Thirty-seven prisoners were transported by land and handed over on humanitarian grounds. They were taken to their areas of residence on the Saudi-Yemeni border.

The coalition had announced the departure of the first flights on Friday morning. The release will be held in three phases.

Coalition spokesman Turki Al-Malki had first announced the release on April 28, saying the Joint Forces Command would be freeing 163 prisoners who had taken part in combat operations against Saudi Arabia.

The move is part of efforts to resolve the Yemeni crisis and establish peace. It also aims to consolidate the two-month truce that was announced by the United Nations in early April.

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