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    Tribesmen hold their weapons as they attend a tribal gathering to show support to the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen November 10, 2016.

    Houthi Movement Releases 650 Supporters of Former President Saleh - Source

    © REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah
    Middle East
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    SANAA(Sputnik) - Yemeni Houthi insurgents have released 650 supporters of assassinated former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who were detained in December, a source from the security forces told Sputnik on Saturday.

    "The military structures [of the Houthis] released today 650 military personnel a month and a half after they were captured as a result of the clashes between Ansar Allah [the Houthis' official name] and the forces of the former Yemeni president in the capital of Sanaa, as well as in provinces of Amran, Hajjah and Mahvit," the source said.

    According to the source, another group of captives will be released in the next few days.

    The statement confirms earlier reports of an agreement between the Houthis and Saleh's supporters, with Ansar Allah promising to release the former president's allies, except for several of his relatives, revealed to Sputnik in January by a highly placed source from Saleh's party General People's Congress.

    READ MORE: Houthis Claimed to Hamper Yemen's Dead Ex-President's Party — Source

    The former president was killed by the Houthis amid the larger conflict between the forces who remained loyal to the ex-president and the Houthi rebels. A short while before his death, Saleh severed ties with the Houthis, whom he supported in the conflict with the country's internationally recognized government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

    The tensions in war-torn country had further escalated in November 2017, when former allied Houthis and units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh started fighting, which resulted in the death of Saleh on December 4. The conflict was provoked by the Saleh's readiness to start negotiations with the Saudi-led coalition provided that they lift the country's blockade.

    Tags:
    Houthis, Abdallah Ahmed Saleh, Yemen
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