SANAA // Two suicide bombers killed four tribesmen who are fighting with the Yemen army to drive Al Qaeda-linked militants out of southern Yemen cities.
Both bombers also died in the attack at a checkpoint in the town of Umsurra. The tribesmen were moving to reinforce a new army offensive against the town of Shaqra, which is held by the militants.
The defence ministry said in a statement that one of the bombers was in women's clothing. Local officials said pro-army tribesmen foiled another suicide attack about 10 kilometres away, killing two militants and capturing another.
Residents said Yemeni warplanes continued strikes against Al Qaeda positions in Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, and the militant stronghold of Jaar. Residents also said that warships shelled militant positions in Shaqra yesterday.
Also, the Yemen army announced a ban on the use of seven main roads in Abyan province, where an offensive against the militants has been going on for more than three weeks. The ban takes effect today.
The roads link the cities held by the militants, including Zinjibar, Jaar and Shaqra. The army said it had to close the roads because of increasing terrorist attacks. The army said any vehicle on the roads after the ban takes effect will be attacked.
The warning comes as the army, backed by tribal fighters, is getting ready to attack Shaqra, which is on a major shipping route and the gateway for Somalis entering Yemen to fight alongside Al Qaeda.
The Yemen army, backed by US logistical support, started its southern offensive May 12,