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Ahead Upcoming Peace Talks, UN Transfers Houthi Wounded Fighters to Oman

A UN plane carrying wounded Houthi militia fighters has left the capital Sanaa today and arrived in the Omani capital of Muscat; a move that paves the way for the upcoming negotiations in Sweden.

The move, approved by the Saudi-led military coalition, will see 50 rebels receive treatment on Monday.

UN-sponsored talks between the rebels and the Saudi-backed government are expected to start in the coming days.

A coalition spokesman said overnight that the move had been requested by the UN special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and had been agreed as a confidence-building measure ahead of discussions in Sweden.

The UN has been trying to revive talks between the government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Iranian-backed Houthis who control much of the north.

A previous round in Geneva collapsed in September when the Houthis failed to show up.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in early 2015, when the Houthis seized control of much of the west of the country and forced President Hadi to flee abroad.

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