Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- At least seven people were killed and several inmates escaped Thursday when militants attacked a prison in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, the Yemeni Interior Ministry announced.
The ministry said an explosive-laden vehicle was used in the assault on the Central Security Prison. Clashes between militants and security forces occurred near the prison gates for more than a half hour.
Eyewitnesses told CNN at least seven strong explosions occurred within the first minute of the attack, shaking the prison buildings and forcing a shutdown of the facility. At least two other people were injured.