YEMEN CONFLICT HOUTHIS.jpg
Yemeni soldiers loyal to the Houthi Group stand guard outside the presidential palace in Sana'a, Yemen, 13 June 2016.
Photograph: EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

Nine Yemeni troops were killed Monday in two suicide attacks near the south-eastern city of Mukalla, a security official said.

Attackers driving explosive-rigged cars targeted two security checkpoints west of the city, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mukalla, the capital of Yemen's south-eastern province of Hadhramaut, has seen a series of attacks since government loyalists backed by Gulf troops recaptured it from al-Qaeda jihadists in April.

In June, some 38 Yemeni troops were killed in a series of suicide attacks and bomb blasts in the city claimed by Islamic State.

Islamic State also claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in May that killed 73 would-be army recruits in Mukalla and the southern port city of Aden.

The attack comes two days after the Yemeni government resumed UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait with the Houthi rebel movement that controls the capital, Sana'a, and most of northern Yemen.

The talks started in April but have made little progress.

Both al-Qaeda and Islamic State have taken advantage of the country's civil war to expand their influence.

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