ADEN (Reuters) - A suicide car bomb killed seven people outside Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Rabbu Hadi's residence in the southern city of Aden on Thursday, local officials and eyewitnesses said.
"A suicide car bomb targeted a security checkpoint about 500 meters (yards) from the Maashiq palace," the official told Reuters by telephone.
"Seven people were killed and 10 were wounded. The majority of the casualties are civilians," the official said of the latest in a series of deadly attacks by militants on government and security targets.
The officials said President Hadi was inside the building at the time of the attack and was unharmed.
Hadi was forced to flee the capital Sanaa in 2014 and is now based in Aden, Yemen's second largest city, where his embattled government is trying to project its authority after its loyalists, backed by Arab forces, seized it in July.
Backed by a Saudi-led military alliance of Arab states, Hadi's forces have been battling the Iran-allied Houthi militia and followers of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who are based in Sanaa, in a war that has killed 6,000 people.
Islamic State has also stepped up operations, emerging as a forceful rival to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the main Islamist militant group in the country in recent years.
Suicide bombers from Islamic State killed 15 people in an attack on a hotel housing the government in Aden and seven at a Houthi-run mosque in Sanaa on Oct. 5.
Dozens of armored vehicles and troops from the United Arab Emirates arrived in Aden's port on Wednesday, security officials said, as part of a plan to tackle security chaos.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf, Mohammed Ghobari and Hadeel Al Sayegh; Writing by Noah Browning; Editing by Andrew Roche)