November 16, 2017 / 7:40 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Saudi-led coalition rescues French journalists in Yemen - Arabiya TV

(Adds details, background)

DUBAI, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition rescued two French journalists on Thursday who had gone missing in an area of Yemen held by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported.

The channel said the two women had been “kidnapped” by the Houthis on Nov. 2 while travelling with a group of people from the province of Saada to Hajjah governorate. It did not identify the journalists and gave no details on how or when they entered Yemen or how they were rescued.

A source in the Houthis said the two had not been kidnapped but ordered confined to a hotel after they were found travelling near combat areas in northern Yemen without permission. The source said they were part of a fact-finding human rights mission.

A coalition spokesman could not immediately be reached for a comment.

The women were both taken to an air base in the Saudi capital Riyadh, al-Arabiya added.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 to try to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the Houthis, backed by troops loyal to former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh marched on Hadi’s southern headquarters in Aden forcing him to flee. (Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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