Two US hostages freed

Dhaka,  Thu,  08 December 2016
Published : 16 Oct 2016, 09:52:47

Yemen conflict: Two US hostages released

Two US citizens held by Houthi rebels in Yemen have been released and flown to neighbouring Oman, the US says.

The Americans, who were not identified, left the country together with Yemenis hurt in a recent funeral bombing, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

The US thanked Oman for mediating and acknowledged the "humanitarian gesture" from the rebels.

Yemen has been devastated by a war between government forces and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.

More than 6,800 people have been killed since March 2015, the majority in air strikes by a Saudi-led multinational coalition that backs the president against the Houthi rebels.

Speaking in Switzerland after multilateral talks on Syria, Mr Kerry welcomed the development.

"This is something we've been working on for the last days," he said.

The two Americans were flown to Oman alongside an unspecified number of people injured in the 8 October attack on a funeral hall in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

At least 140 people were killed, most of them civilians. The Saudi-led coalition said it had carried out the attack based on "bad information".

Meanwhile, a US Navy destroyer in the Red Sea may have been targeted by multiple surface-to-surface missiles fired from Houthi-controlled territory, US officials said.

The USS Mason took countermeasures and was not hit, they added. If confirmed, it would be the third such incident in recent days.

On Thursday, the US military launched cruise missiles against three coastal radar sites in territory controlled by the rebels in response to two previous failed missile firings against the Mason.

ZR

 
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