Yemen releases 100 Arab extremist prisoners

A hundred jailed Muslim extremists, including some who were imprisoned for allegedly fighting under the command of al-Qaida in Iraq, have been released by authorities, a Yemeni security official said on Saturday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media, said the release the 100 Islamic prisoners had been carried out in parts, with the last batch set free in late February. The official added that 19 of the released fought under the command of al-Qaida in Iraq's previous leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, prior to his death in a US airstrike last June. The 19 nineteen had been handed over to Yemen by Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other countries. There was no information as to what had prompted the release.