23 al-Qaida members escape from Yemeni prison

A group of 23 convicted al-Qaida members escaped Friday from a prison in Yemen's capital, a security official said. The men were sentenced last year on various charges of terrorism, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. They were being held at a detention center for military intelligence in San`a. No further details were available. The escape came a day before the trial of top al-Qaida suspect Mohammed Hamdi al-Ahdal and 14 others charged with involvement in terror operations in Yemen, particularly the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole.