Yemen's government has denied reports that it released a large group of al-Qaida suspects from prison last week.
The Yemeni embassy in Washington issued a statement Tuesday saying Yemen freed 108 prisoners who are not affiliated with al-Qaida in any way. It says the released detainees had been put on trial for violating Yemeni laws and most had served their sentences.
Yemeni security officials who asked not to be identified were quoted Sunday saying that authorities were releasing about 170 suspects linked to al-Qaida after the detainees signed commitments to good behavior.
The United States has expressed concern about past releases of suspected al-Qaida members in Yemen. Al-Qaida's Yemeni branch claimed responsibility for an attack on the U.S. embassy in Sanaa last September that killed 13 Yemenis. Six attackers also were killed.