13 killed in 'Qaeda bomb' accident: Yemen official

ADEN - Ten civilians and three army technicians were killed on Wednesday when a bomb planted near a prison by presumed Al-Qaeda militants exploded in south Yemen, a security official said.

The device placed in the Tibn area of Lahij province went off when the soldiers were trying to defuse it, but the area had not been sealed off to keep civilians away, the official added.

"Residents alerted the security services about an explosive device planted near a prison. Army ammunition technical officers were sent to the scene and were trying to defuse it.

"The bomb exploded prematurely, killing the three technicians and 10 civilians, and wounding 13 more including the local police chief," the official said.

Two hospitals in Lahij and Aden where the dead and wounded were taken confirmed the toll.

The dead civilians were among a crowd that had gathered to watch the army defuse the device and which was not kept at a safe distance by police.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is active in southern Yemen where it often targets members of the security forces, despite a security push in April that ejected AQAP fighters from urban areas.