The last major breakout of Al-Qaeda members from a Yemen prison was in 2006, but this escape consisted of nearly three times as many prisoners. Yemen Times reports:
At least 65 prisoner’s escaped on Tuesday from Al-Mukalla Central Prison. Some of the escaped prisoners have been confirmed as Al-Qaeda members who had been transferred from another prison in Al-Mukalla to the central prison.
Civilians claim that heavy gunfire broke out around 8am between security forces and escapees. The situation in the city has now returned to normal, with only one armored vehicle guarding the entrance of Jol Al-Saifa’a where the central prison is located.
The General-Secretary of Mukala’s Local Council, Mohammad Bin Ziad, who has been following the incident, told the Yemen Times that the confirmed number of escapees is 65 so far. However, he also said more details will be released after investigations have been carried out and eyewitnesses questioned.
“There was an external attack on the prison,” said Bin Ziad. “People broke into the prison from outside and slaughtered the guards. There are eyewitnesses and fatalities on both sides.”
[Continues at Yemen Times]