ADEN (Reuters) - A senior Yemeni police commander was killed in a car bomb attack in south Yemen on Friday, a security official said, the latest in a series of attacks in the volatile region during nine months of mass protests against the president.
Two other occupants were also injured when the booby-trapped car exploded in the port city of Aden, the official told Reuters.
Southern Yemen has been the scene of clashes between the army and al Qaeda-linked militants who have seized three towns during a popular movement to oust autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Neighboring oil giant Saudi Arabia and the United States fear spreading anarchy in Yemen is emboldening al Qaeda’s regional wing, one of the global Islamist network’s most aggressive branches.
In the capital Sanaa, a woman was shot dead and her husband was wounded as they passed near a protest, witnesses said. The government and the opposition exchanged accusations over which side had opened fire.
In Ibb province, south of Sanaa, four soldiers were wounded when their vehicle was fired upon by armed opposition activists, an Interior Ministry official told state news agency Saba.
In southern Yemen, tens of thousands of refugees have fled to Aden and neighboring provinces to escape the fighting and the army has struggled to regain territory lost to the militants.
Saleh, in power for 33 years, has refused to implement a Gulf-brokered power transfer plan, aggravating protests and bringing the impoverished country to the brink of civil war.