SAN'AA, Yemen // Yemen's northern rebels have freed 178 soldiers and civilians as part of a ceasefire agreement with the government. Ali Saleh Garsha, the official who mediated the release, said today the captives were handed over to local government officials in the northern province of Saada a day earlier. Mr Garsha said arrangements were under way to send them to Yemen's capital tomorrow. The rebels have been fighting Yemen's weak government sporadically for years. The sides struck a ceasefire agreement in February. Under the deal, the militants agreed to disarm, release captured soldiers and property, withdraw from strategic positions, abide by the constitution and vow not to attack Saudi Arabia.
The rebels took up arms complaining of neglect and sectarian discrimination. * AP