Seven Killed as Inmates Escape in Attack on Yemen Prison

Seven people were killed and several inmates escaped in an brazen attack on the central prison in Yemen’s capital city of Sanaa, a Yemeni official said.

Three other people were wounded in the assault, Mohammed Albasha, a spokesman at the Yemeni embassy in Washington. said in a Twitter post.

The identity and affiliation of the prisoners who escaped remains unknown, Albasha said.

Yemen's state news agency SABA reported that terrorists deployed a car bomb as well as gunfire in the prison break.

The seven killed were all security troopers engaged in a firefight with the terrorists, SABA reported, citing an official Interior Ministry source.

The attackers fired at least one rocket at a police patrol vehicle outside the main prison gates, a police officer at the scene told Reuters.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

A branch of al-Qaeda is one of the more active terrorist groups in the region and is blamed for several deadly attacks on state and military centers in the past two years.

A number of small prison breaks in Iraq have freed hundreds of militants who are now fighting with radical Sunni factions in neighboring Syria, The New York Times reported this week.

— Charlene Gubash and Jeff Black