They say the Sunday strike was the third of its kind in a week in the province, a stronghold for the group. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Yemen fell into chaos following its 2011 Arab Spring uprising that deposed longtime autocrat Ali Abdullah Saleh, now allied with Shiite rebels from the north who have occupied much of the country and are fighting his successor. A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the rebels and Saleh's forces since March 2015.
Al-Qaida has taken advantage of the chaos to seize territory and expand operations in impoverished Yemen, which sits along strategic oil shipping routes.
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