ADEN, Yemen, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- A prisoner swap between the government and the Houthi rebels took place successfully on Tuesday in the country's southern province Lahj, a military official told Xinhua.
Nine fighters of the Houthi rebel group were set free in exchange for the release of five government soldiers from the militia's jails, the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
He said that the exchange of prisoners between the two warring rivals occurred under the auspices of local mediators.
Tribal mediators affiliated with the two-warring sides conducted a series of negotiations during the past weeks and succeeded in reaching this deal, according to the official.
Earlier this month, the pro-government forces released about 15 members of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebel group from their jails in the southern province of Dhalea.
The Houthi rebel group, meanwhile, set free a total of 15 pro-government southern soldiers in return.
Yemen's local tribal mediators have more than once succeeded in completing prisoner exchanges between government forces and the Houthis in different areas of the war-torn Arab country.
Yemen has been locked into a civil war since late 2014, when Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition against the Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen for more than five years in support of the internationally recognized government of Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Enditem