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Al Qaeda Convict Is 8th to Surrender Since Yemen Jailbreak

The World

April 24, 2006|From the Associated Press

SANA, Yemen — A Yemeni member of Al Qaeda who was among 23 convicts who escaped from a prison here this year has surrendered to authorities, security officials said Sunday.

Khaled Mohammed Abdullah Batati turned himself in during the last two days, a security source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Arrested in a crackdown last year, Batati was sentenced by a Yemeni court to three years in prison in May 2005 in connection with a plot to attack the British and Italian embassies and the French cultural center in Sana, the capital.

The prisoners escaped Feb. 3 through a 180-yard tunnel that ended inside a mosque. Among those at large is a militant convicted in the 2000 attack on the U.S. destroyer Cole in the harbor at Aden. Batati is the eighth escapee to surrender.

Tribal leaders and Muslim clerics were negotiating the surrender of the remaining escapees, the security official said.

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