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Two US hostages of Iranian-backed fighters released into trade: report



Two Americans held hostage by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen were released Wednesday as part of a US-backed trade that returned more than 200 of the group’s loyalists to the fragmented Middle Eastern country, according to US and Saudi authorities.

A Royal Oman Air Force plane carrying the two Americans and the remains of a third took off from the Yemeni-controlled capital, Sanaa, hours after the plane and an accompanying flight brought hundreds of fighters back to the country after years stranded in Oman.

The deal provided freedom for Sandra Loli, a US humanitarian who was held hostage by the Hutus for about three years, and Mikael Gidada, a US businessman who was held hostage for about a year, said Kash Patel, a presidential aide to President Trump who is working on the deal. .

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The pact also included the return of the remains of Bilal Fatein, a third American held by the Hutus. U.S. officials provided only limited information about the three Americans, but said they were working urgently to secure the deal because Ms. Lolly̵

7;s health was declining. The deal also included the delivery of medical supplies to Yemen.

Saudi officials have said they are reluctant to support a deal that they say will allow dozens of Houthi fighters trained in advanced drones and missiles to return to the battle zone. Mr Patel said the United States had worked to ensure that Hutus returning to Yemen did not pose a major risk.

Houthi officials were not immediately available for comment.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.


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