SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's official news agency says a militant group has attacked the central prison in the capital, killing seven people and helping a number of inmates to escape.
SABA says Thursday's attack started with a car bomb that exploded at the gate of the Sanaa Central Prison, which is located along the main road leading to the airport. It says militants then exchanged gunfire with guards, and a number of prisoners fled amid the chaos.
The news agency didn't say how many inmates fled or what charges they were faced. It added that authorities are investigating.
Witnesses said earlier that explosions rocked the capital and smoke billowed into the sky. Security forces and army troops have been deployed to the site of the attack and sealed off the whole area.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Witnesses say explosions have rocked the Yemeni capital near the central prison followed by heavy gunfire and smoke billowing into the sky.
Roads to the airport were closed after witnesses say that several bombings were heard on Thursday night close to the prison.
Officials had no immediate comment. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.
Militants led by al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoot have carried out a series of attacks in a bid to fight back against a government offensive aimed at uprooting it from strongholds in the south.