Yemen officials say rebels free hundreds of prisoners
Shi’ite Houthi rebels

SANAA: Yemeni security officials say Shiite rebels have freed hundreds of prisoners in the southern city of Dhale.

The Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, have been trying to take control of the city to open up a corridor to the southern port city of Aden, where the rebels are fighting supporters of the country’s beleaguered President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists, said that after the Houthi fighters took control of Dhale’s central prison, they gave inmates a choice between joining their ranks or remaining incarcerated.

Critics of the Houthis charge that they are an Iranian proxy. Iran has provided aid to the rebels, but both Tehran and the Houthis deny it has armed them.

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