Yeemen says it has freed 161 northern rebels as part of its ceasefire agreement with Shiite insurgents. The Interior Minister said in yesterday's statement that the move follows up on the release of 75 rebels two weeks earlier. The Shiite rebels have been fighting Yemen's government sporadically for years, complaining of neglect and sectarian discrimination. The two sides struck a ceasefire agreement in February, under which the rebels agreed to disarm and release captured soldiers and property. By March, the rebels said they had freed 445 prisoners.
A rebel spokesman said they had not been informed of the latest release, but if it does take place it would be a positive step. * AP