Yemen's warring sides swap 52 bodies of fighters

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ADEN, Yemen, May 30 (Xinhua) -- A local mediation committee in Yemen announced on Tuesday that it has successfully facilitated an exchange of 52 bodies of fighters between the government forces and the Houthi rebels.

Hadi Jumaan, leader of the tribal mediation committee, said in a brief press statement that under the auspices of local tribal figures, representatives from the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels met at a neutral location in the country's northern province of al-Jawf on Sunday and exchanged 52 bodies from both sides.

While expressing gratitude for members of the mediation committee, Jumaan emphasized the power of local initiatives in fostering reconciliation.

Meanwhile, an anonymous government official from Marib Province who participated in the exchange said that the Houthis are still holding dozens of bodies of the pro-government soldiers and have refused an "all for all" exchange of bodies.

So far, the Houthi rebel group has not issued an official comment on the exchange, which was viewed as a positive humanitarian step by local observers.

Yemen has been embroiled in a years-long military conflict after the Houthi militia took control of several northern cities and ousted the Yemeni government from Sanaa in 2014.

The years-long conflict has resulted in a staggering number of casualties and has plunged the Arab world's poorest country into humanitarian crises, including widespread famine. Enditem

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