22 October 2019

Houthi rebels and Al Qaeda exchange 115 prisoners

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Houthi rebels and Al Qaeda’s Yemen faction (AQAP) have swapped 115 prisoners in a deal struck earlier this week. reports citing The Nationals that the swap took place in Al Baydha province on Sunday, a Yemeni government minister said.

“The Houthis released 50 Al Qaeda militants, meanwhile Al Qaeda gave 65 Houthi fighters,” said Majed Fadel, a deputy in the Ministry of Human Rights and member of the government prisoner exchange committee.

“This is not the first prisoner swap deal between the two sides... the Houthis have exchanged prisoners with Al Qaeda four times before, but all the previous deals took place very confidentially,” Mr. Fadhel added.

“It is just temporary pragmatism for mutual interest because AQAP said it killed two Houthis on Monday by a roadside bomb in the Tayyab area of Al Baydha,” Dr. Kendall said.

The deal sits in contrast with failed efforts between the Iran-backed Houthis and the internationally-recognized Yemeni government to swap prisoners. The last round of negotiations in Jordan between the two sides focusing on the release of thousands of prisoners failed as the government accused the Houthi rebels of providing fake prisoners list.

2019.09.19 / 15:53
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