SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia that is fighting a war with Yemen's Shiite rebels said Monday that it has traded 109 Yemeni prisoners taken during the fighting in the neighboring country for nine Saudis who were held captive.
It was the latest prisoner exchange ahead of a scheduled April cease-fire and peace talks, coming just after tribal authorities and Yemeni officials said suspected U.S. drone strikes killed least 10 suspected al-Qaida militants in the country.
A coalition statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency 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 and Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis, have agreed to a cease-fire at midnight on April 10 ahead of peace talks starting April 18 in Kuwait. Earlier this month, another exchange saw Saudi Arabia release seven Yemenis for one of its soldiers.