Yemen conflict: Two US hostages freed

Yemen conflict: Two US hostages freed

A Yemeni girl puts roses in front of a destroyed funeral hall, a week after Saudi-led airstrikes hit it, during a rally in solidarity and honour of the victims of the 8 October airstrikes, in Sanaa, Yemen, on 15 October 2016Image copyright

Image caption

The US pair were flown to Oman with Yemenis injured in the recent bombing of a funeral that killed 140 people

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”.

Yemen conflict: Two US hostages freed

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