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Yemeni defected general frees Saleh's interpreter in exchange for 80 dissident soldiers

10-11-2011 12:18 BJT

SANAA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni defected general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar set free the interpreter of President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday in swap for 80 dissident soldiers, the interpreter 's colleagues said.

Mohamed Sudam, who is also a journalist, was released a day after being arrested by al-Ahmar's forces at a checkpoint in Sanaa late Saturday.

"Sudam, a son of Taiz governor, along with six government officials, were released Monday night in swap for 80 dissident soldiers detained by the government," one of Sudam's colleagues told Xinhua.

Earlier the day, tens of journalists of the Yemeni Journalist's Union staged a rally in front of the headquarters of al-Ahmar's military base, calling on the general to release their colleague.

Al-Ahmar, who defected from the government and joined the protest movement in March, met the reporters and promised to release Sudam.

The general, who is a half brother of Saleh, also told the reporters that 400 dissident soldiers and protesters had been detained by the government over the past several months and that he would release Sudam if the government frees those detainees.

Yemen has been in the grip of months-long political crisis since the eruption of mass protest in late January demanding an end to Saleh's 33-year-rule.

 

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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