Interpol, the international police body, has issued a global security alert following the escape of 13 al Qaeda prisoners from a jail in Yemen. The men were among 23 inmates who fled through a tunnel dug from the women’s section of a mosque near the prison in Sanaa. The incident is a major embarrassment to Yemeni authorities who have mounted a crackdown on militants in recent years. It is thought the prisoners are likely to make for mountainous tribal areas where the goverment has little control. They escapees include the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors. Opposition politicians claim the inmates had help from the outside. Prison guards are being questioned.