Yemeni warring sides agree to exchange 2,000 bodies

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-09 03:48:45|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADEN, Yemen, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Delegations of the two warring sides in Yemen declared Friday reaching an agreement to exchange bodies of fighters killed during the past years of the ongoing military conflict.

A Yemeni government official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the negotiating delegates representing both the government and the Houthi group agreed to swap around 2,000 bodies within three stages.

"Each side will hand over 1,000 bodies, including those in morgues, from today Friday and the swapping operation will continue for a one-month period," added the source.

Head of the Houthis Prisoners' Committee Abdul-Qader Mortada said in a statement revealed by Masirah TV channel that "our understandings during the Jordan's meetings were about exchanging limited prisoners according to lists."

The Houthi official said that the current round of consultations in Amman has been extended for an additional three days.

Abdul-Qader said that "a comprehensive agreement to exchange prisoners is currently difficult because of the obstacles of the other party."

Government sources confirmed to Xinhua that the delegation representing the Iranian-backed Houthi group agreed to release four high-ranking pro-government military leaders from Sanaa's jails, including the country's former Defense Minister General Mahmoud Subihi.

The United Nations sponsored two rounds of talks in Jordan in an effort to reach comprise regarding the implementation of Sweden's agreement signed between the two warring rivals in last December.

An official of Yemen's Foreign Ministry confirmed to Xinhua that the talks with Houthis regarding releasing the prisoners will be resumed in the next week in Jordan.

In the consultations held in Sweden last December, the two sides reached an agreement to exchange prisoners which stand at about 15,000.

The Sweden Agreement called for the urgent need to address the dire humanitarian situation facing the Yemeni people.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi rebels overtook Sanaa and toppled the government of President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people and created a severe humanitarian crisis.