Three people including a suicide bomber were killed in three explosions targeting security offices in Aden, the main city in southern Yemen, al-Arabiya news reported early on Tuesday. Hundreds of security officials have been killed in explosions and shootings over the past two years in southern Yemen, where the government and allied tribal militias are fighting against Islamist militants allied to al Qaeda.
Security in Yemen is a priority for the United States and Gulf Arab countries because of its location next to the biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia and big crude shipping routes through the Red Sea. This month al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen's branch of the movement, said it was behind an assault on a Defence Ministry complex in the capital Sanaa in which more than 50 people were killed.
The main Islamist militant group, Ansar al-Sharia, took advantage of political chaos during protests inspired by the Arab Spring to seize control of several cities in southern areas. The group was repulsed by government forces the following year. Yemen also faces deep-rooted poverty, a southern separatist movement, divides in the army and fighting between Salafi Sunni Muslims and members of the Houthi movement, representing Zaydi Shi'ites, in the country's north.
(Reporting By Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Toni Reinhold)