4 people wounded in Yemen suicide attack; official shot dead

ADEN - A suspected al Qaeda militant blew himself up on Friday in a market in Lahj province in south Yemen, killing himself and wounding four people, a security official said.

In southeastern Hadramout province, unidentified gunmen shot dead a security officer on Friday, the official said, adding that the incident came a day after an intelligence officer was killed by gunmen in al-Mukallah, capital of the province.

He gave no further details of the incidents.

Yemen is mired with security and political problems, including threats from a powerful branch of al Qaeda, a secessionist movement in the south and Muslim Shi'ite Houthi rebels in the north.

Last week gunmen shot dead a German security guard employed by the German embassy in Yemen's capital in an attack officials said bore the hallmarks of al Qaeda.

The United States sees Yemen, which is next to vital shipping lanes, as a front line in its war on al Qaeda and has used drones there for years to attack members of the group.