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Yemen government agrees prisoner swap with Houthis

A group of 230 Houthi prisoners arrive at Seyoun Airport by a plane of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebel group exchanged prisoners in line with a swap deal between them in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2020. [Mohammed Hamoud - Anadolu Agency]
A group of 230 Houthi prisoners arrive at Seyoun Airport by a plane of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) after the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebel group exchanged prisoners in line with a swap deal between them in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2020. [Mohammed Hamoud - Anadolu Agency]

The government of Yemen and the Houthi movement have agreed a prisoner swap deal, Anadolu has reported. The exchange went ahead on Thursday, with eight prisoners from each side involved.

According to Colonel Yahya Al-Haser, the head of the Prisoners and Detainees Committee speaking on behalf of the government, the exchange took place near Kanais in Al-Jawf governorate, in the north of the country. No statement was issued by the Houthis.

This is not the first prisoner swap that has taken place between the two parties following local and international mediation. Lists of more than 15,000 prisoners, detainees and people who have been abducted were provided by both sides at the 2018 UN-sponsored consultations in Sweden.

No accurate count of the number of prisoners is currently available. More Houthi fighters and government soldiers have been captured since 2018.

Last October, the Yemeni government and the Houthis exchanged 1,056 prisoners over two days, in the largest swap deal since the start of the war nearly seven years ago.

READ: Houthis to 'expose Mossad's activities in Yemen' after detaining agent

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