Seven Killed During Yemen Prison AttackMilitants that were heavily armed attacked the main prison in Yemen located in Sanaa, the country’s capital. The attack on Thursday killed seven while helping 29 prisoners escape. Many of the escapees had been convicted of charges related to terrorism, said the Yemen official news agency.
The prison attack start when a car bomb was exploded and the militant started to exchange heavy gunfire with the prison guards at Sanaa Central Prison. At that time, many prisoners fled amidst the chaos. One official at the prison believes the attack was an inside job.
Witnesses said that the explosions had rocked Sanaa and smoked had covered the sky. Security forces, as well as army troops, were deployed to the attack site and sealed the whole area off.
Officials said there were three groups of attackers and three different cars, including the one with the car bomb. One of the groups detonated the bomb, while the second joined in with the first to engage fire with prison guards. The third dispersed into the prison engaging with outside security forces.
Other militants continued firing from different rooftops of homes that surrounded the prison. Authorities believe that the attackers were given help from people within the prison so that the inmates could escape. Three of the officials from the prison and different prison guards were detained.
Authorities also said that they received information of a planned attack on the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the ousted president and his party said they feared those who escaped from the prison had been involved in Saleh’s assassination attempt back in 2011.
Saleh was ousted from power following an uprising of one year starting in 2011. It was ended when he signed a deal of a transfer of power that gave him full immunity from any prosecution in return for giving up his power in 2012.
In the 2011 uprising, Saleh was attacked in his palace and he was left with a number of serious injuries that required surgery in Saudi Arabia.
Major attacks on jails that have led to prison escapes have happened in the past including one during February of 2006.