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Yemen Houthis say holding several Saudi captives

SANA: Yemen Houthis are reportedly holding several Saudis as captives.

One of the Houthi negotiators Abdul Qader al-Murtada told Russian Today that the group is holding many Saudis as captives.

“The fate of all Saudi prisoners is connected to the fate of Yemenis held by the Saudi-led coalition whether in Yemen or abroad,” the negotiator said.

He said senior Saudi military officers were among those held by the Houthi group. He did not give any details of the Saudi officers or other captives.

There was no comment from Saudi Arabia on the Houthi claim.

Last week, a Saudi soldier and seven opposition members were released as part of a prisoner swap between Riyadh and the Houthi group.

Yemen has been hit by civil war since 2014, when the Houthis took control of the capital, Sanaa. In 2015 a Saudi-led coalition launched devastating air strikes against the Houthis.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse the Houthis of acting as a proxy for Iran.

Tens of thousands of people, including civilians, are believed to have been killed and the UN estimates that around 14 million Yemenis are at risk of famine.