ADEN, Yemen, Hundreds of Yemenis, on Monday, gathered in a public square in the southern port city of Aden, to greet a pro-secession leader, released from the Houthi-controlled central prison in Sanaa, after 11 years of detention.

Many people from different neighbourhoods in Aden came to receive and honour released Ahmed Omar Marqashi, said Ahmed Anwar, one of the ceremony's organisers.

He said, key southern military leaders and tribal leaders attended the celebration, which was organised to demonstrate public support and respect for Marqashi.

Marqashi spent years of suffering in the detention centre, in Houthi-controlled Sanaa, but he is now considered a hero in the southern provinces, Anwar added.

On Sunday, Yasser Al-Hadi, head of the prisoners' file, in the pro-secession Southern Movement, said that, a mediation team composed of senior tribal figures, succeeded in freeing Marqashi, in exchange for the release of 33 Houthi prisoners.

Marqashi, 56, is considered one of the leaders who established the Southern Movement, demanding the secession of southern Yemen from its north.

Marqashi was arrested in Aden in Feb, 2008, and transferred to central prison of the capital Sanaa, during the rule of former Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Source: NAM News Network

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