62 al-Qaida militants escape Yemen jail

June 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM

ADEN, Yemen, June 22 (UPI) -- More than 60 suspected al-Qaida militants escaped Wednesday from a jail in southeastern Yemen, a security official said.

The inmates at the jail in southeastern port of Mukalla dug a 50-yard tunnel themselves, attacking guards with knives and stealing one guard's gun, which was used to fatally shoot one guard, a jail official who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Washington Post.

The official said 57 of the 62 escaped prisoners had been convicted on terrorism charges, with some receiving the death penalty.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua said Yemeni security forces and armored vehicles were deployed following the breakout.

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