Yemen’s Houthis release crew of seized Emirati cargo vessel: Spokesman

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The Iran-backed Houthis have released the crew of the United Arab Emirates cargo ship RWABEE that was seized on January 3, the group’s spokesman said on Monday.

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The release of the crew – 11 in all according to sources familiar with the matter – was agreed with the assistance of Oman, spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a tweet.

He said a detained British man was also released. He did not provide more details. Oman’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday a British man and his wife and child were also released by the Houthis.

The British government earlier identified the man as Luke Symons and said he had been held without charge or trial since 2017.

The Houthis have said the Emirati cargo vessel was carrying military hardware when seized in the Red Sea on January 3. The Arab Coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis since 2015 said the ship was carrying medical equipment.

Earlier this month, the warring sides in Yemen’s seven-year conflict agreed to a nationwide two-month ceasefire under a UN-brokered deal, giving humanitarian groups a chance to step up aid to Yemen’s hungry millions.

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