Image Credit: Gulf News

Sana'a: The Yemeni army on Sunday detained more than 50 journalists after it refused to allow them enter Sa'ada to attend a peace conference called by a local tribal shaikh.

Over 27 journalists were released by the army, after six hours in detention, at two check points, in Harf Sufyan between the Sa'ada and the capital Sana'a.

Yemeni reporters and cameramen from Al Jazeera, Reuters, AP, Al Hurra and Al Manar Suhail Al Alam were amongst those jailed, said Omar Al Amki, the journalist who organised the event on behalf of the tribal Shaikh Fares Mana'a.

About 25 more journalists arrived later in the city of Sa'ada after the others had been jailed, but they returned to Sana'a immediately in support of their colleagues.

"These 25 journalists were able to enter Sa'ada because they told the checkpoints they were engineers not journalists," explained Khalid Al Mahdi, the DPA reporter, among the 27 arrested.

The tribal Shaikh Fares Mana'a, a famous weapon trader who was blacklisted by the United States early this year for charges of smuggling weapons to Somalia, had been due to announce a peace initiative at the conference.