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Yemen's Houthi rebels release detained NGO staff

nternational Medical Corps did not say how long its staff were detained [AFP]

Date of publication: 3 April, 2017

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Houthi rebels on Sunday released 7 NGO workers who had been reported detained in the central province of Ibb a day earlier.

Five staff members of the International Medical Corps and two contracted drivers were safely released on Sunday, the aid organisation said, a day after announcing their detention by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The seven - all "locally hired" - had been at a hotel in the central province of Ibb when they were detained, the US-based non-governmental organisation said in a statement.

International Medical Corps did not say for how long the aid workers had been held or provide details on the circumstances of their release.

The organisation's website says it has more than 150 local staff in Yemen and that it has operated since 2012 in the war-torn country.

It says its relief efforts provide a lifeline for families in the rebel-held capital and in Ibb, as well as the flashpoint southwestern city of Taiz, and Aden and Lahj in the south.

The Houthi rebels and their allies control most of Yemen's north and west, while forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition, control the south and east.

More than 10,000 people - most of them civilians - have been killed in Yemen's war since the March 2015 military intervention of the coalition.

The United Nations says seven million people face serious risk of famine in the Arabian Peninsula country unless international donors intervene.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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