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Yemen’s Houthis release six foreign hostages

The hostages are three Americans, two Saudis and a British national, sources say

Published: Updated:

Six foreign hostages have been released on Sunday after being held by Houthi rebels in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa for more than five months, Al Arabiya News channel reported.

The hostages boarded a plane and will be flying to the Gulf nation of Oman, which negotiated their release, the channel reported, in accordance with measures taken by Saudi Arabia and the United States to facilitate their release.

The hostages are three Americans, two Saudis and a British national. They were all civilians, the channel said. Two more Saudi teachers remain held by Houthis, it added.

“Upon a request from the U.S. government to help settle the issue of the American citizens held hostage in Yemen, the concerned authority coordinated with Yemeni authorities in Sanaa to release two U.S. citizens,” a statement from Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

All of those released were taken onboard a Omani air force carrier back to Muscat where they will travel from back to their home countries, the statement added.

Houthi officials refused to give the reasons for the detention of the hostages, the Associated Press reported.

But at least one of them is a journalist, who was described as having “entered the country illegally” and “worked without notifying the authorities.”