Twelve alleged al Qaeda militants plus two other inmates have tunneled their way to freedom from a prison in the south Yemen city of Aden, a security official said Monday.

The prisoners fled through a 20-foot tunnel they dug at the western end of Aden’s central prison, the official said.

None of the escapees was serving a jail sentence. Some were being tried over a 2009 robbery of a bank in Aden, while others were facing charges of being involved in various assassinations of intelligence officers, security sources said.

In June, heavily-armed al Qaeda fighters raided the central jail in the southern city Al-Mukalla, capital of the Hadramawt province, freeing dozens of prisoners and killing a security guard.

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