Suspected al Qaeda fighters stormed a military base in Yemen’s port town of Mukalla on Friday, killing at least five soldiers and ransacking its ammunition store, residents and local officials said.

The attack came a day after the militants broke into Mukalla jail and freed scores of prisoners including a prominent local al Qaeda leader, identified by officials as Khaled Batarfi.

Soldiers fled the base after the attack, residents said, and the suspected al Qaeda fighters also raided local banks, broke into local government buildings and set fire to the broadcasting station. […]