Yemen's Houthis release 2 al-Qaida prisoners: source

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ADEN, Yemen, July 26 (Xinhua) -- The Houthi rebel group released on Monday two mid-level members of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch after a local meditation in the country's central province of al-Bayda, a military official told Xinhua.

"Two mid-level al-Qaida members who had been detained in Sanaa's National Security Prison for several years were released by the Houthi authorities," the local military source said on condition of anonymity.

He said that two fighters of the Houthi group were set free in exchange for the release of the al-Qaida prisoners from the Houthi-controlled jail in Sanaa.

The source based in al-Bayda gave no further details about the prisoner swap that occurred in the turbulent province after a local tribal mediation.

Large areas of al-Bayda province witnessed intense armed confrontations between the Yemeni government forces backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition and the Houthis during the past weeks, leaving many people either killed or injured from both sides.

The Houthi group controls Yemen's capital Sanaa and most of the country's northern provinces, while al-Qaida group operates in several Yemeni provinces exploiting the current security vacuum. Enditem

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