Last updated: 19 August, 2012

Al Qaeda suicide bomber kills Yemen militia chief

A suspected Al-Qaeda suicide bomber blew himself up early Sunday in southern Yemen killing the commander of a local pro-army militia and wounding six people, a government official told AFP.

Two children were among the wounded in the town of Mudiya in the restive southern province of Abyan, the official said.

“An Al-Qaeda suicide bomber managed to enter a home used as a base by the Popular Resistance Committees and activated an explosives belt killing the local commander Nasser Ali Mansur and wounding six,” he said.

The committees have recently become a target for Al-Qaeda militants who were forced to flee Abyan in June following battles led by the army, with the local militiamen backing them up.

A doctor in Aden told AFP he had helped evacuate three of the wounded from an hospital in the Abyan city of Loden to a bigger facility in Aden “because they are in critical condition.”

The attack came hours after suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed 19 soldiers in a rocket attack and suicide bombing on Saturday that targeted intelligence headquarters in Aden, the main southern city in Yemen.

Al-Qaeda militants remain active in southern Yemen, where separatist militants also attack security forces, pressing their demands for renewed independence for the south.

South Yemen was a separate state before unification with the north in 1990.