Two Yemeni soldiers and a civilian were killed when armed men believed to belong to al-Qaida attacked security posts in the eastern city of Mukalla, security officials said Tuesday.
Yemen's active al-Qaida offshoot has taken advantage of three months of popular protests calling for the ouster of longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step up operations in the country's weakly governed provinces.
In the attack, armed men opened fire Monday night on two security post outside Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, security officials said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity according to regulations. The attack killed two soldiers and one passer-by.
Yemen is reeling from three months of protests demanding that longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down. Saleh snubbed a regional initiative to diffuse the crisis by refusing to leave office in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Instead, he has pressed on with a crackdown on protesters that has killed more than 150 people.
Demonstrations continued across Yemen Tuesday, and dozens of protesters were injured by security forces, activists said.
In Damar, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital Sanaa, one protester suffered a gunshot wound and 14 others were injured with rocks and clubs when men in plain clothes tried to disperse a protest.
Six were hurt in the southern port city of Aden when security forces opened fire on a demonstration against power cuts, medical officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government retribution.
In Taiz, protesters forced the closure of a number of government offices, activist Bushra al-Maktari said. Also, students in the southern town of Ibb demanding that studies cease until Saleh's regime falls briefly took over the university president's office before police dispersed them with gunfire, activist Ahmed Aqil said.