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Yemen's Houthis, Hadi loyalists swap 30 prisoners

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Yemeni militiaman loyal to resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is greeted by a comrade after his release as part of a prisoner exchange with the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Yemen’s southwestern city of Ta’izz on June 1, 2016. (© AFP)

Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement and militiamen loyal to resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have exchanged nearly three dozen prisoners captured during clashes between the two sides.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Houthis had released 15 men in exchange for as many inmates freed by Hadi loyalists in the al-Maton district of the northern al-Jawf Province, located approximately 110 kilometers north of Sana’a. The prisoner swap was conducted on Saturday evening following mediation by local tribes, the Arabic-language television network al-Masirah reported.

More than two months ago, Ansarullah announced the release of 276 prisoners loyal to the Saudi-backed resigned president in a gesture of goodwill.

Houthi officials said in June that 200 of the prisoners had been set free in Rada'a city in the southwestern Province of al-Bayda, and the rest in the nearby Dhamar Province.

The prisoners were released only a day after Ansarullah and forces loyal to Hadi conducted another prisoner swap. Hadi loyalists released 118 prisoners, while Ansarullah freed 76 detainees, who had been captured during the battle for the southern city of Ta’izz.

Incessant Saudi airstrikes against Yemen

Meanwhile on Sunday, Saudi fighter jets struck a bridge in the Mudhaykhirah district in the central Province of Ibb. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Yemeni children walk amidst the rubble of a house in Sana’a on August 11, 2016, after it was hit by a Saudi airstrike. (© AFP)

Scores of people were also killed and wounded when Saudi warplanes pounded passenger cars traveling along a road in the al-Matammah district of al-Jawf Province.

Saudi Arabia has pounded Yemen almost daily since March 2015, with internal sources putting the death toll from the military aggression at about 10,000. The offensive was launched to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement and their allies and restore Hadi to power.

The Houthi fighters took state matters into their own hands in the wake of Hadi's resignation and escape, which threw Yemen into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in the country, where an al-Qaeda affiliate is present.

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