Yemeni officials: apparent al-Qaida attack kills 3

Yemeni security officials say two soldiers and a civilian were killed when armed men believed to belong to al-Qaida attacked security posts in the eastern city of Mukalla.

Yemen's active al-Qaida offshoot has taken advantage of the months of popular protests calling for the ouster of longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step up operations in the country's weakly governed provinces.

In the attack, armed men opened fire on two security post outside Mukalla, the capital of Hadramawt province, security officials said Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity according to regulations. The attack killed two soldiers and one passer-by.

Months of protests have shaken Saleh's decades-old grip on power. The United States considers him an ally in fighting terrorism.