Al Qaeda blamed for Yemen suicide attack on pro-government militia

At least 12 people are dead after a suicide car bomb exploded Monday at a pro-government Yemeni militia headquarters.

Al Qaeda is suspected of smashing a car into the building in Lawder, a southern Yemeni city, where a meeting of the militia was taking place.

Seventeen others were wounded in the attack.

The pro-government armed group, the Popular Resistance Committees, are believed to have fought Al Qaeda alongside the Yemeni army, reported Al Jazeera.

The city of Lawder is in the Abyan province, where Al Qaeda forces were driven out by the government and militias last June, said the Associated Press.

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Pro-government forces are often aided by US drones that can pick out Al Qaeda fighters who hide the rugged mountain terrain.

It is believed the US has killed dozens of militants in the region using drones.

Yemen was destabilized in 2011 during the Arab Spring in which tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand the resignation of strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

During the upheaval, Al Qaeda used the security vacuum to take over parts of south Yemen, reported Reuters.