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Yemen prisoner swap: Freed detainees reunite with families amid peace talks

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Planeloads of prisoners linked to the long-running war in Yemen landed in the Houthi-led capital of Sanaa and in the government city of Aden on Friday, as part of an exchange of more than 800 detainees.

It is the most significant prisoner exchange of the Yemen war since the Saudi-led coalition and their rivals, the Houthi rebels, released more than 1,000 detainees in October 2020.

As part of the three-day exchange, flights operated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will transport prisoners between six cities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia in the coming days.

Yemen has been embroiled in conflict since 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa and much of the country’s north. The internationally recognized government fled to the south and then into exile in Saudi Arabia. The Houthi takeover prompted a Saudi-led coalition to intervene months later.

More than 15,000 people have died in the war, including fighters and civilians, creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

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