Al-Qaeda frees 300 inmates in raid on Yemen prison
Iran Press TV
Thu Apr 2, 2015 3:59PM
Al-Qaeda militants have raided a prison in Yemen and freed hundreds of inmates, including a senior terrorist leader, as Takfiri elements are using the Saudi-led aggression to fuel the unrest across the Arab country.
Security officials said Thursday that around 300 inmates managed to break a prison in the coastal Yemeni city of al-Mukallah in Hadramawt Province after al-Qaeda forces launched a raid on the facility.
A notorious al-Qaeda leader, identified as Khalid Saeed Batarfi, was among those freed from prison, officials confirmed. The regional commander, viewed as one of the main terrorist figures operating in Yemen, was put behind bars more than four years ago.
Batarfi played a key role in the militancy against the Yemeni government in 2011-2012, when al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took control of large parts in the impoverished country's south and east.
Seven people, including two prison guards, were killed in the clashes that erupted at the detention center.
Other clashes were reported between AQAP and troops in Mukalla. The battles were mainly centered around the local administration's compound, a police station and a branch of the central bank.
Security officials said that fighting also spread to areas near the presidential palace in the city.
Attacks by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have gained new momentum across the country after Saudi Arabia unleashed aerial attacks against Yemen on March 26.
There have been increased warnings that the Saudi-led aggression, which is aimed at undermining Yemen's Ansarullah movement, could strengthen the grip of terror groups across Yemen.
Since they took control of the capital Sana'a last September, the Ansarullah revolutionaries declared the fight against extremism and terrorism as one of their major objectives.
Nearly 200 people have lost their lives in Yemen since Saudi-led airstrikes began. Many of the casualties are civilians, among them women and children.
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