A roadside explosion killed 12 civilians and wounded four in southern Yemen on Monday when a bomb targeting a military car hit their vehicle instead, a security source said.
"The bomb was planted on a road in the Qaataba district of Daleh province and hit a civilian vehicle instead," said the source, who requested anonymity as he was not authorized to brief the press.
Daleh, south of Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa, is controlled by government forces.
Yemeni Special Forces trained by the United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States this month launched a major operation in the southern Shabwa province against Yemen’s Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
AQAP has exploited years of conflict between the government and the rebels to expand its presence in southern Yemen.
The militants are thought to have moved farther south into neighboring Abyan province.
Another attack Monday wounded army General Ahmad al-Shbeili of the 115th brigade and killed his son in the town of Loder in Abyan.
A source in the brigade told AFP Al-Qaeda gunmen were behind the deadly ambush.
And a soldier was killed in the oil-rich Hadramawt province, east of Daleh and Abyan, when masked gunmen opened fire on a residential street, a security source there said.
AQAP regularly targets military outposts in southern Yemen.
An Al-Qaeda suicide bomber killed five Yemeni soldiers and wounded 20 others in an attack last week on an army position in Loder.