ADEN, Yemen, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Six members of Yemen's pro-government forces were killed on Monday in a roadside bomb explosion in the country's turbulent southern province of Abyan, a military official told Xinhua.
A roadside bomb planted by terrorists of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch exploded in the morning near a military vehicle of the pro-government forces in Mudiyah district, the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
The explosion resulted in the destruction of the military vehicle and the killing of six members of the pro-government southern forces aboard, the source added.
"Al-Qaida gunmen planted several roadside bombs and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) throughout the main roads in Mudiyah to block the pro-government southern forces from advancing in the area," he said.
Following the attack, a joint force of the military and security forces affiliated with the Southern Transitional Council (STC) combed through the area to track down the attackers and secure the government institutions in Mudiyah, according to the source.
The explosion comes days after the STC's forces, which were backed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, launched a military operation against hideouts of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch in the mountainous areas of the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa.
The number of attacks carried out by militant groups against the pro-government southern troops surged in various areas of Yemen despite a recent truce brokered by the United Nations.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against the security forces in the country's southern provinces.
The AQAP has exploited years of deadly conflict between the Yemeni government and Houthi militia to expand its presence in the war-ravaged Arab country. ■