SAN'A, Yemen (AP) _ Police have released five leaders of Yemen's largest opposition group after detaining them briefly on charges of meeting without a permit, police and party officials said Sunday.

The Socialist party leaders were released Saturday, a few hours after police detained them. They had been meeting in the southern city of Aden to prepare for a national convention scheduled for the capital, San'a, on Aug. 30.

A Socialist party official said the detentions were aimed at obstructing the convention. But a government official denied the accusation, saying Yemeni authorities have supported the party financially.

The Socialist party has often accused the government of undemocratic practices. It boycotted last year's presidential elections.