ADEN (AFP) – Two Yemeni soldiers were killed on Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded in the restive southeastern province of Hadramawt, a military source said, blaming al-Qaeda for the attack.
Three other soldiers were wounded in the bombing that targeted a military vehicle in the historic interior town of Shibam, known as the Manhattan of the Desert for its centuries-old multi-storey buildings.
The attack comes after separate suicide attacks on Thursday killed 47 people in the capital Sanaa and 20 soldiers in Hadramawt province.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has since claimed responsibility for the Sanaa bombing, which has further exacerbated tensions in violence-wracked Yemen.
Impoverished Yemen has been wracked by political turmoil since a bloody 2011 uprising forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from office, with rebels and militants battling to exploit a power vacuum.
Thursday’s suicide bombing in Sanaa targeted a gathering of supporters of Shiite rebels who overran the capital last month and are demanding a greater role in decision making as well as political and economic reform.
It came a day after a new prime minister designate, named as part of a UN-brokered peace deal, refused the post in the face of fierce opposition from the rebels.
AQAP is considered by the United States to be al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch and its leaders have been targeted repeatedly by US drone strikes.
The group has vowed to fight the Shiite rebels in defence of Yemen’s Sunni majority, and has also repeatedly targeted security forces, particularly in the south and east.
AQAP claimed Thursday’s bombings in statements posted on the Twitter account of its Ansar al-Shariah News, according to the SITE Intelligence monitoring group.