A car exploded on Wednesday outside the home of a militia chief in south Yemen, one of its members said, adding that fighters known as Popular Resistance Committees killed an Al-Qaeda militant involved in the assault.
Troops, meanwhile, arrested seven suspected Al-Qaeda members including a local financier in the southern town of Jaar which the army recaptured in June, a military official said.
The explosion, also in Jaar, occurred when "two militants parked a bomb-laden car outside the residence of Abdullatif al-Sayed and set it off from afar," a member of the militias that battled against Al-Qaeda alongside the army said.
"There were no casualties in the explosion," he said.
But one of the two Al-Qaeda militants was killed later when the militiamen chased them down, he said, adding that the other jihadist was captured.
Later Sayed spoke to AFP by telephone saying: "I am in good health. We, the Popular Resistance Committees, will cleanse Abyan (province) from Al-Qaeda elements within days."
The committees have recently become a target for Al-Qaeda militants who were forced to flee Abyan in June following battles led by the army, with the local militiamen backing them up.
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On Saturday, a suicide bomber blew himself up during a mourning ceremony organised in honour of a relative of Sayed, killing 49 people, according to a new toll provided by hospitals in Aden.
Four Al-Qaeda suspects implicated in the attack have been arrested, according to officials.
Also on Wednesday, the army and local militiamen "arrested seven Al-Qaeda militants, among them a financier, Abu Musab, and a Somali," a military official said.
"Those arrested were gathered in a house in Jaar and planning to attack the army" and members of the Popular Resistance Committees, he told AFP.
Defence ministry news website 26sep.net confirmed the report, saying that "computers and dangerous documents were found with the members of this terrorist cell."
Abu Musab "is a leading financier of Al-Qaeda in Abyan province and has led the terrorist groups to attack the central bank in (provincial capital) Zinjibar when the city was under the militants' control in May," the army official said.
Officials and tribesmen said on Tuesday that 13 suspected militants were killed in two days in separate raids across Yemen.
Jaar, which the army recaptured from the jihadists in June with the help of the militiamen, was the site of a suicide attack on Saturday in which 49 people were killed, according to a new toll provided by hospitals in Aden.