The Omani Foreign Ministry yesterday said it had facilitated the release of 14 foreigners who were held by the Houthi group in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, and transferred them to Muscat.
The ministry said in a statement that those freed included a "British man, his wife and child, seven Indian nationals, a Filipino, an Indonesian, an Ethiopian and a Myanmar national." The ministry did not provide details on what had led to their detention.
The statement added that the Omani facilitation had come "in compliance with high orders by the Sultan of Oman, Haitham Bin Tariq, to work on recent requests by the governments of the United Kingdom, Indonesia, India and the Philippines to assist in the release of a number of their detained nationals.
"After communicating with Saudi Arabia to facilitate issuance of the necessary permits, all 14 were transferred on an Oman Royal Air Force plane to the Omani capital, in preparation for their return to their countries," the ministry said, adding that the Houthis were "responsive to our endeavours."
Impoverished Yemen has been witnessing a bloody conflict between the Houthis and forces loyal to the UN-backed government since September 2014. The war escalated when a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 controlling Yemen's sea and air space. Oman is not a member of the coalition.