By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, April 14, 2012- A Yemeni Islamist group linked to al-Qaeda claimed on Friday that its fighters had launched a rocket at the house of the security chief in Yemen's southern sea port of Aden.
In a statement by Ansar al-Sharia posted on the Internet said that they killed three security officers in ensuing clashes on Thursday.
Yemeni army launched an offensive five day clashes against al-Qaeda militants, who had attacked a military camp outside Lawdar district of Abyan province.
Nearly 200 people have been killed since Monday during the clashes between Yemeni government forces alongside tribesmen and Islamic militants.
According to experts, al-Qaeda determined to capture the south Yemeni town of Lawdar in a bid to build itself a secure base in the Arabian Peninsula.
Lawdar district is located between three provinces gives it strategic importance, and it can also provide a safe haven from bombardment from the sea, experts say, adding that the militant group is seeking to extend its influence across the region.
The group seized control of a significant amount of territory in Abyan during the turmoil that led to the replacement of President Ali Abdullah Saleh by his deputy.
The conflict with the fighters in the south is only one of several challenges facing the new president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office in February vowing to fight al-Qaeda.
The Saudi Arabia and the United States hope the political deal will prevent al-Qaeda from getting a foothold near oil shipping routes.