June 22nd, 2011
09:26 AM ET

Suspected al Qaeda militants escape from Yemeni jail

Dozens of suspected al Qaeda militants escaped from a jail in the Yemeni city of Mukalla Wednesday, according to a senior security official.

CNN could not independently verify that the escapees were members of al Qaeda.

A soldier and a prisoner were killed and two soldiers were injured in the incident, said the security official who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Armed militants began attacking the prison at about 8 a.m. Wednesday, witnesses said. They fired heavy artillery before the escape.

Recent clashes in the southern province of Abyan killed seven Yemeni soldiers and 17 militants. The fighting was mainly concentrated in the cities of Zinjibar and Jaar.

Government troops have been battling both anti-government tribal forces and Islamic militants, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The United States has been aiding Yemen's military in its fight against Islamic militants amid fears that al Qaeda is exploiting the political chaos and leadership vacuum engulfing the unstable and impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Jeffrey Feltman, U.s. assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs was scheduled to meet with senior Yemeni officials during a visit to Yemen Wednesday.

Widespread tumult has engulfed Yemen for months, with thousands of demonstrators who oppose the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh urging the president's departure. Saleh was taken to Saudi Arabia for treatment after injuries suffered in an attack on his compound.

Saleh's party said Tuesday that he planned to return to Yemen on Friday. Opposition leaders called news of Saleh's return false rumors.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Angela Blewitt, MA

    If the bill is blocked in New York from even being VOTED on, then I feel like we no longer live in a democracy. These are my thoughts: People, we live in a democracy, and we gay, lesbian, and transgender people pay equal taxes, and as citizens of AMERICA I don't know about you, but I will have to do something to stop the burgeoning American Taliban from taking over my beloved democracy, turning it into a theocracy in which I am persecuted for being who I AM. Unacceptable. The UN does not have the best record. If we no longer live in a democracy of basic human rights protections, I WILL have to take matters into my own hands to keep myself free. A small fringe group of religious people will not be allowed to disenfranchise my right to LIFE. I feel lke we're living in Germany 1936. I live in a DEMOCRACY, and I am no victim.

    June 22, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      "American Taliban"?, You must be kidding. How many Americans are sympathetic to the Taliban? The Taliban are in fact universally hated here in America so what chance do they stand here? The Communists stand a better chance of being elected to office than they do.

      June 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. i rock

    Agreed with mee. .these freaks need to go to a degay clinic

    June 22, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. CSnSC

    The USA is a republic. Has never been a democracy, was never designed to be.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. CSnSC

    Ok, just reread the article and I was correct, it never mentioned anything about the escapees being gay, lesbian, or transgender Angela.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. mee

    block the block the bill

    June 22, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Now I know why you can spend all day posting.

    June 22, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ellis-Panama

    Joey,please! Easy on those strokes-key strokes.

    June 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

      Why does CNN allow this joker Ellis to post his stupid comments here? This bozo never says anything and his posts are getting quite tiresome to say the least! If CNN is so interested in blocking messages, they need to start with this creep!!!

      June 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. George Patton

    This is definately the best news out of Yemen yet but that creep Ali Abdullah Saleh is coming back much to my chagrin!!!

    June 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ellis-Panama

    @ Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua. Good post. Thank you.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. meee

    Who cares

    June 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jazzzzzzzz

    Who cares? I do.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. andrewglaze2

    Has never been a philosophy, was never premeditated to be.The USA is a commonwealth.

    June 26, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. andrewglaze2

    Has never been a philosophy, was never premeditated to be.The USA is a commonwealth.

    http://www.pvcwindow.com.au./

    June 26, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |