More than 20 inmates escape in Yemen prison break

AP News
Posted: Apr 13, 2017 12:42 PM

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — More than 20 inmates escaped from a prison in Yemen's southern city of Aden on Thursday after gunmen demanding the release of detainees imprisoned without trial blocked roads and clashed with security forces.

The officials said one person was killed and four police conscripts were wounded in the violence. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, said the 23 inmates who escaped were being held on criminal charges and that it was not clear who the gunmen were.

Yemen's second largest city is controlled by forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled to Saudi Arabia after Shiite rebels known as Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen in 2014. A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for more than two years in a bid to restore his government.

In rebel-held Sanaa, a Houthi-controlled court sentenced a prominent journalist to death on espionage charges, accusing him of collaborating with the Saudi-led coalition.

Dozens of Yemeni journalists released a statement denouncing Wednesday's verdict against Yehia al-Gebeihy, who was abducted from his home by Houthi fighters eight months ago. The Yemeni journalist syndicate says at least 13 reporters have been detained by the Houthis.

The stalemated war in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 civilians, displaced over three million people and pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.