Qaeda frees 73 Yemen soldiers


Al-Qaeda on Sunday freed dozens of Yemeni soldiers they captured during battles with the army in the southern province of Abyan, most of which is held by the jihadists, a provincial official told AFP. “Al-Qaeda has released 73 soldiers they seized in the south in early March,” said the official in the militant stronghold of Jaar. The soldiers were “driven in two buses from Jaar to Aden,” the main southern city, the official said, adding that religious and tribal mediators had secured their release. On March 4, militants from the Yemeni-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, fighting under the banner of the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), attacked an army camp near the provincial capital Zinjibar, killing 185 soldiers and capturing scores. In a statement claiming responsibility for the assault, Al-Qaeda said it was holding 73 soldiers.