SANAA-- Yemen's Houthi rebels on Thursday handed over 22 would-be child soldiers to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported.
According to Saba, the 22 children "were arrested in security checkpoints out of the capital Sanaa."
The Houthi group claimed that those children "have intended to join other rival forces," in reference to the internationally-recognized government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition.
The handover took place at Sheba hotel in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa. Representatives of the ICRC and UNICEF, as well as families of those children, attended the handover, according to the report.
There were no comments available from the Yemeni government, which is based in the southern port city of Aden.
The handover on Thursday was the second similar move by Houthi rebels in fewer than two months.
On Aug. 19, the Houthis handed over to the ICRC and UNICEF 31 child soldiers whom the Houthis claimed to have been arrested during the battles.
Yemen has been locked in a civil war since the Houthi rebels overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces in late 2014.
Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in the Yemeni war in 2015 to support the government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
More than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, have been killed in the war, with about 3 million others displaced.
The Yemeni warring forces, which have frequently exchanged prisoners, have failed to negotiate an end to the civil war after the collapse of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva last month.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK