March. 9, 2012
SANAA, Yemen, March 9 (UPI) -- The Yemeni government won't release prisoners to secure the safety of al-Qaida hostages, a security official said.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida, is said to be threatening the lives of more than 70 troops in an effort to secure the release of al-Qaida prisoners.
A government security official was quoted by CNN on condition of anonymity as saying that the government wasn't bowing to the demands of terrorists.
"We will work on freeing the soldiers being held by the militants but only by reasonable means," the official said. "The government will not set free any militants. This will only make the terror crisis even worse."
AQAP was allegedly behind the deaths of some 200 troops in Yemen this week.
Yemen is in the early stages of a political transition period. Yemeni President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi took control over the country after long-time President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned as part of a deal meant to end a political conflict in the country.
Yemen's security problems are compounded by a Shiite rebellion in the north and a separatist campaign in the south, where AQAP remains active.