No charges for at­tack ‘sus­pect’

Swap comes ahead of talks

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

The Saudi-led coali­tion that is fight­ing a war with Ye­men’s Houthi rebels said it has traded 109 Ye­meni pris­on­ers taken dur­ing the fight­ing for nine Saudis who were be­ing held cap­tive.

It was the lat­est pris­oner ex­change ahead of a sched­uled April cease­fire and peace talks, com­ing just af­ter tribal au­thor­i­ties and Ye­meni of­fi­cials said sus­pected US drone strikes killed at least 10 sus­pected Al Qaeda mil­i­tants in the coun­try.

A coali­tion state­ment car­ried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said the trade hap­pened on Sun­day, but it did not ex­plain how the Saudis ended up in cus­tody in Ye­men. It said the Ye­me­nis held had been de­tained in “ar­eas of op­er­a­tions near the bor­der of Saudi Ara­bia.”

The ex­change comes as the Saudi-led coali­tion, which in­cludes mem­bers of the UAE Armed Forces, and the Houthi rebels have agreed to a cease­fire at mid­night on April 10 ahead of peace talks start­ing on April 18 in Kuwait.

Ear­lier this month, an­other ex­change saw Saudi Ara­bia re­lease seven Ye­me­nis for one of its sol­diers.

In its state­ment, the coali­tion said it hoped the ten­ta­tive calm in Ye­men would al­low “aid to reach all Ye­meni ter­ri­to­ries” and would sup­port United Na­tions’ ef­forts to end the fight­ing.

Tribes­men and se­cu­rity of­fi­cials said that sus­pected US drone strikes late on Satur­day into Sun­day morn­ing tar­geted an Al Qaeda in the Ara­bian Penin­sula camp in the Mah­fad area of Ye­men’s south­ern Abyan prov­ince.

They said that at least 10 sus­pected ex­trem­ists were killed and oth­ers were wounded in the strikes.

Mah­fad has been a ma­jor site for train­ing camps for Al Qaeda in Ye­men.

Mean­while, pro­jec­tiles fired from Ye­men landed in Saudi Ara­bia late on Sun­day night, wound­ing eight peo­ple, the SPA said.

A man de­tained in con­nec­tion with the Brus­sels at­tacks has been re­leased from cus­tody. A judge found there was no ev­i­dence to jus­tify hold­ing Fay­cal C, the Bel­gian Fed­eral Prose­cu­tor’s Of­fice said in a state­ment yes­ter­day. Pros­e­cu­tors had re­ported ear­lier that the man was fac­ing pre­lim­i­nary charges of “in­volve­ment in a ter­ror­ist group, ter­ror­ist mur­der and at­tempted ter­ror­ist mur­der.” Mean­while, au­thor­i­ties an­nounced that the num­ber of vic­tims from last week’s air­port and sub­way sui­cide bomb­ings had risen to 35. Bel­gian Health Min­is­ter Mag­gie De Block an­nounced on her Twit­ter ac­count that four of those hos­pi­talised af­ter the at­tacks had died of their in­juries. Peo­ple con­tin­ued to lay trib­utes at the me­mo­rial site yes­ter­day (pic­tured).

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