Al Qaeda militants kill 31 in Yemen

Al Qaeda militants kill 31 in Yemen

Al Qaeda militants kill 31 in Yemen

At least 31 people were killed in multiple attacks launched by suspected Al Qaeda militants in Yemen, an official said Saturday.

The attacks occurred overnight in the city of Seiyun in Hadramout province, Xinhua reported.

The Yemeni official said the targets in the simultaneous attacks included three banks, police, military, intelligence and government buildings, which were looted and then blown up by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and some set on fire.

More than eight army checkpoints were stormed by the well trained Al Qaeda attackers, and dozens of soldiers were either killed or injured on the spot, the offical said.

The Special Security Forces, the armoured army brigades and the counter-terrorism units in Hadramout have entered into "the state of alarm", according to the official.

"It was a very frightening night. Huge explosions rocked the ground and we saw the black smoke rising," Khaled Ba-Haroon, a resident, said.

"Some outside walls and balconies of nearby buildings are damaged."

The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, has vowed to hit back in Yemen's main cities, including the capital Sanaa.

The AQAP, which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.