3 al-Qaida militants killed in explosion in southern Yemen

3 al-Qaida militants killed in explosion in southern Yemen

Three al-Qaida militants were killed late Friday night when explosive devices and grenades detonated in their hands before attacking a checkpoint of pro- government tribesmen in the war-torn southern province of Abyan, a Yemeni security official said Saturday.

Home-made grenades and explosive devices blew up among the al- Qaida assailants who were attempting to target a checkpoint affiliated to pro-government tribesmen in Mudiyah, a town in northern Abyan, killing at least three terrorists, the local security official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

"The al-Qaida assailants were the only casualties in the explosion caused by the explosive devices in their hands," the official said.

"No one was harmed among the tribal fighters positioned near the checkpoint during the botched attack of al-Qaida group," he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. drones raided several hideouts of the Yemen- based al-Qaida wing in the southeast restive province of al-Bayda on Friday night, killing at least 20 al-Qaida militants, a local security official told Xinhua.

Yemen's southern and eastern regions have recently been rocked by a string of suicide car bombings targeting government buildings and military officials. The government authorities usually accuse militants of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) of committing the crimes and masterminding the attacks.

The AQAP attacks underscored the challenges facing the Yemeni government, which is tasked with restoring security and stability to Yemen and putting an end to the growing influence of al-Qaida that threatens the daily oil shipping routes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

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