Houthi rebels release hundreds of detainees in Yemen

Houthi followers attend a gathering to receive food supplies from tribesmen in Sanaa Yemen Septembe

Yemeni Houthis broadcast video showing major attack near Saudi border

The head of the Houthi committee for prisoner-of-war affairs, Abdul Qader al-Murtada, said on Monday the rebels would free 350 detainees, including three unidentified Saudi nationals.

Yemen's rebels on Monday released scores of detainees they had rounded up and held for years in rebel-controlled territory, a development that raised hopes of reviving stalled peace talks between the warring sides.

Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei said the world has ignored another possibility, that the Houthis could have used Russian weapons seized from the Yemeni army or that they had procured them on the weapons market.

The UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has arrived in Sanaa on an unannounced visit, a source at the city's airport revealed.

In a statement, the United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, welcomed the release of the prisoners, saying he hoped that this step will be followed by further initiatives that will facilitate the exchange of all those detained in connection with the conflict. "There could have been more prisoners released but if that's the case, that happened without our support", she added.

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Yemen's Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, have released 290 hostages on Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement on Monday.

Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen's warfare in 2015 to prop up the authorities following the Huthi insurgents ousted it against the capital Sanaa the preceding calendar year.

The Houthis said the attack happened near the border with Saudi Arabia's southern region of Najran.

Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition that has been battling the Houthis, has not responded to Saturday's Houthi announcement that they had carried out the attack.

Al-Malki asserted that in fact the Houthis had been repelled by coalition forces along the Saudi-Yemen border and that over 1,500 Houthi fighters had been killed over the past few weeks.

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However, he described on Monday's release of prisoners as created to "break the deadlock that has prevailed for several months".

It could additionally assist deliver credibility to the Houthis' claims that that they had orchestrated the most important ever assault on Saudi oil services, on September 14, which quickly shut down oil manufacturing and rattled the worldwide financial system.

Khaled al-Qarni told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis were attempting to divert the global community's attention from the major crime committed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards against the Saudi Aramco oil facilities on September 14.

But in an interview aired on Sunday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said war with Iran would devastate the global economy and he prefers a non-military solution.

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