Three killed in prison escape attempt in Taiz
While four dangerous prisoners managed to escape, 13 others were stopped before they ever breached the outer wall.
Friday’s incident was the first successful escape of any prisoner in the past three months, but it wasn’t the only incident. Previous attempts include an incident in March, when a prison breakout was foiled after prison guards discovered digging in some cells and under walls, as well as an attempt on May 8th, when guards found an inmate trying to escape by climbing a fence.
A security official told the Yemen Times, “The prisoners killed Ahmed Al-Sarori, a warrant officer, and then used his rifle and pistol to shoot at other guards while they attempted to reach the outer fence of the prison.”
“While the guards managed to prevent 13 prisoners from escaping, four of them did get away. However, two of the escapees were found and arrested on Saturday evening,” he said.
“The prisoners’ attempt to escape left a guard and two prisoners dead, with seven guards and five prisoners wounded. The five prisoners who were injured have all been charged with murder and most have been sentenced to death,” the official said.
The official noted that some of the prisoners sentenced to death have instigated riots in the past.
Meanwhile, familiar sources told the Yemen Times that, “the prisoners were basically given the chance to escape after they convinced the prison’s management to allow a party inside the prison. A wedding party was organized for an inmate inside the prison and a music band was allowed in this past Thursday.”
According to the sources, weapons used to carry out the prisoners’ plan were hidden in the musical instruments used by the band.
The 13 prisoners who failed to escape were in an armed standoff with guards for two consecutive days, only dropping their weapons and ending the standoff on Sunday morning.
After guards were able to enter the prison on Sunday, they found that inmates had been carefully digging a secret tunnel out of the prison. It was found after an extensive search of the prison for additional weapons.
The governor of Taiz, Shawqi Hail Saeed, dismissed the warden of Central Prison, Colonel Abdulilah Al-Akhali, who was appointed as warden only two months ago.
Saeed also ordered a committee to be formed to investigate the incident. It will be headed by the deputy governor of security affairs in Taiz.