comments have been disabled.
The men were released from al-Mansoura prison in the southern city of Aden on Tuesday, after authorities took guarantees from their families that they would never participate in any armed activity in the future, the sources said.
However, the director of al-Mansoura’s prison, Colonel Saif Ahmed Naji, declined to confirm or deny the release. “I’m not authorized to speak to press” he said over the phone from Aden.
About 150 al-Qaeda suspects will be released from different prisons over the coming few days, after giving the authorities written pledges that they will renounce extremism and violence, or any kind of participation in any armed activities, the sources said.
The release will be as a result of long-standing negotiations between the government and tribal chiefs representing the families of the men, the sources said.
The men to be released are those whose terms have finished, or those who were not proven to have participated in terrorist acts, the sources added.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on tribal chiefs in three provinces believed to be safe havens for terrorists to cooperate with the authorities in fighting terrorism.
“How come you see the terrorists with your eyes in your villages and you do not say this is wrong,” President Saleh told a gathering of tribal leaders from Marib, Shabwa and al-Jawf on Tuesday in Marib, where the Yemeni and Saudi al-Qaeda group is believed to be hiding.
“This is not the triangle of evil, it is the triangle of good, and development,” Saleh said referring to the three provinces of Marib, Shabwa and al- Jawf.
“The State is not the reason behind the shortcomings in development, it is the terrorism.”
“You should understand, the people of the three provinces, if terrorism, sabotage and violence continue, this will hinder development. So, you should move and take action and the army will be with you.
” Despite the fact that the three eastern provinces are considered the main source of gas, oil and electricity, the local residents complain of having little in the way of development projects.
The tribal Shiekh Naji Al Sami, from Al Jawf, said the accusations that the three provinces are safe havens for terrorists is no more than extortion by some western and neighboring countries.
The journalist Abdul Elah Shaya, who interviewed the alleged al-Qaeda leader in late last January, said the call for the tribesmen to turn against the terrorists is a sign that the government is unable to arrest al-Qaeda leaders.
“They may be in these three provinces or they may be in Sana’a, who knows,” said Shaya, who interviewed Nasser al-Wahaishi in an undisclosed location.