Ansar Al-Sharia (Supporters of the Islamic Law), the group connected to Al-Qaeda, has disclosed for the first time that Abu Baseer Nasser Al-Wuhaishi is the leader of the group.
In a statement circulated to media outlets, the group said that Al-Wohaish ordered to release 73 soldiers who were captured since last March as militants of the organization attacked positions of the military around Zinjibar in Abyan.
Many questions were raised about the connections of the group that emerged in South Yemen and captured some towns in Abyan and Shabwa.
Al-Wuhaish is himself the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the recent statement of the group was considered by analysts as a confirmation to Ansar Al-Sharia's links to Al-Qaeda.
Though some Yemeni analysts said that Ansar Al-Sharia is a mixture of Al-Qaeda, and other groups and factions, Yemeni authorities and officials insisted that the group is the same of Al-Qaeda.
The statement enclosed with new photos of Al-Wohaishi cited that the Yemeni soldiers were released after sheikhs, dignitaries, clerics and activists attended to Jaar (a district that the group renamed it as Waqar) and mediated.
"After their attendance to Waqar, their demands were referred to Al-Wohaishi who in turn ordered to release the soldiers in honor of the visiting delegations" the statement added.
Al-Qaeda militants had threatened to behead the captured soldiers last Monday , but it later expressed its willingness to release them without any harms.
Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda still capture a Saudi diplomat, a Swiss teacher and a French aid worker after it abducted the former in the port city of Aden ant the two later from Hodieda in separate times.
Al-Qaeda has recently suffered severe blows as the military along with local tribesmen raided attacks against its hideouts in some towns of Abyan, leaving dozens of its militants killed and wounded.