| GEO World|
| 11 killed as militants storm Yemen jail|
| Updated at: 0703 PST, Sunday, June 20, 2010|
SANA: Four heavily armed militants thought to belong to Al Qaeda stormed their way into the intelligence headquarters of Yemen’s second-largest city on Saturday, killing at least 11 people, security officials said.
In a telephone interview, a witness outside the heavily guarded building, in an upscale neighborhood of government offices in Aden, a port city about 200 miles south of Sana, the capital, said that the gunmen had escaped with several detainees.
The witness spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals.
Security officials would not comment on whether anyone had been freed, but Qaeda suspects are often held there, they said.
The blatant attack highlighted American concerns that Yemen’s weak central government may not be up to the challenges posed by an increasingly effective foe who is often able to attack at will inside and outside the country.
“We were hit where we least expected it,” Yemen’s information minister, Hassan al-Lozy, told Al Arabiya news channel. “This is a serious escalation from these terrorist elements.”
No group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack, which killed seven security officers, three women and a 7-year-old child, the Yemeni government. Said.
But on Friday, Al Qaeda issued a statement on militant Web sites threatening to “set the ground on fire under the tyrants of infidelity in Saleh’s regime and his U.S. collaborators,” a reference to Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.