Yemeni security officials say that a device has exploded in a street leading to the capital's presidential palace, wounding three people in the latest violence to hit the volatile country.

Shiite rebels have taken over state institutions, dissolving parliament and installing a new panel to govern the region's poorest nation, home to what Washington considers al-Qaida's most dangerous offshoot.

While Houthi rebels are bitter enemies to al-Qaida, they also are hostile to the United States, and frosty to Yemen's predominantly Sunni northern neighbor, Saudi Arabia. The region's Shiite powerhouse, Iran, looms as a potential key backer.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to release the information otherwise.