X Close

World

Published: Friday February 14, 2014 MYT 4:55:01 AM
Updated: Friday February 14, 2014 MYT 4:55:54 AM

Attack on prison in Yemeni capital kills 11

SANAA (Reuters) - Eleven people were killed when attackers mounted a bomb, grenade and gun assault on the main prison in Yemen's capital on Thursday to try to free inmates, security sources and witnesses said.

Explosions and gunfire could be heard several kilometres away from the prison in northern Sanaa, which has al Qaeda members among its inmates. The biggest explosion rattled windows in the area.

"A terrorist group attacked the central prison," an Interior Ministry official said, according to comments published by the state news agency, adding there had been a car bomb followed by a gun attack on the facility.

"Guards managed to confront the terrorists and forced them to flee," the report said.

Eleven people were killed, a security source said. The Interior Ministry official said seven guards were killed and two wounded, while several inmates escaped in the chaos.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemen is grappling with a growing threat from one of al Qaeda's most active wings, which has killed hundreds of people in assaults on state and military facilities in the past two years.

Some Yemeni news websites said al Qaeda was behind the attack.

Police sealed off the road to the airport, which runs through the neighbourhood where the prison is located, and thick smoke was seen rising above the area.

Earlier on Thursday, a British teacher was reported missing in Sanaa in what a Yemeni security source suggested could have been a kidnapping. The abduction of foreigners in Yemen is common.

The U.S. ally, with a population of 25 million, is trying to end nearly three years of political unrest, which began when mass protests erupted in 2011 against Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of 33 years, who stepped down.

Interim President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has been facing other challenges in trying to restore stability to Yemen, which shares a long and porous border with top world oil exporter Saudi Arabia.

Apart from security, Yemen is trying to deal with demands by southern separatists for independence and to quell rebels from the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi movement, which has been on an offensive to extend its control over the north.

(Additional reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf in Aden, Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Gareth Jones)

advertisement

  1. Karpal Singh cremated after emotional farewell
  2. Karpal Singh’s final journey, thousands bid farewell
  3. Karpal Singh: Photo Gallery
  4. Karpal Singh: Emotional moment as thousands pay their last respects at funeral
  5. Storify: The Tiger sleeps today
  6. Karpal, my hometown hero
  7. JPJ: Driving licence for automatic cars out in June
  8. MH370 search: Next 48 hours crucial, says Hishammuddin
  9. Gobind: My father was a simple man, who enjoyed simple things
  10. CM proposes that sea front be renamed Karpal Singh Drive

advertisement

advertisement