Yemeni soldiers and civilians gather at the site of an explosion, near former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's house which is metres away from the French embassy, in Sanaa February 3, 2014. A mortar shell was fired overnight in the direction of the French embassy in Yemen, while a car bomb exploded metres away in Sanaa's diplomatic quarter, a police source said. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED HUWAIS Image Credit: AFP

Sana’a: A security officer was critically injured on Monday in the port city of Aden in the latest string of hit-and run attacks that target security officers across Yemen.

The official Saba news agency reported that unknown men opened fire on the car of colonel Awadh Al Dahboul, assistant director of Aden’s criminal investigation, and his associate on Monday morning.

The agency said that both men suffered serious injuries and being treated in a local hospital. No one has claimed responsibly for the attack, but the government often accuse Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP, of orchestrating the attacks that claimed the lives of dozens of military and security personnel since 2010.

In the capital, six Al Qaida suspects accused of murder, kidnapping and theft would go on trial, the ministry of defence’s website reported on Saturday.

The website said that the Specialised Criminal Court in Sana’a referred six members of Al Qaida to the court for charges including killing the Saudi diplomat Khaled Al Anizi and his aide in November 2012, kidnapping the Swiss teacher Sylvia Abrahat in the western port city of Hudaida in March 2012 and robbing Yemeni Riyal 140 million (Dh2.41 million) from a local bank.

The defendants are Mohammad Saleh Al Ukaili, Abdul Aziz Ahmad Ubbad Al Qadhi, Hussain Salem Al Ukaili, Hussain Saleh Abd Rabbo Al Ukaili, Yousuf Saleh Abd Rabbo Al Ukaili, Shaif Abdu Mohammad Al Haimi. The government-run website did not give a date for the beginning of the trial.

In the south, security forces beefed up security around oil and gas instatements in the provinces of Shabwa and Mareb amid fears of attacks Al Qaida. Four days ago, two rockets landed near the giant Balhaf gas plant in the province of Shabwa.

On December, Yemen LNG gas company evacuated foreign workers from the plant following a mortar blast at the site.

The ministry of interior said on Saturday that the security forces in the two provinces were ordered to be on heightened alert to deal with “ possible terrorist” attack.

On Sunday night, a mortar shell was fired overnight in the direction of the French embassy in Yemen, while a car bomb exploded metres away in Sana’a’s diplomatic quarter, a police source said on Monday.

“The two attacks happened after midnight. There were no victims,” the source said.

The shell fell by a concrete block, installed for security reasons on a road leading to the embassy, he added.

That blast came shortly after a car exploded on the nearby main road.

“The shell landed about thirty metres from the wall of the French embassy,” while the car “was parked halfway between the embassy and the residence of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital’s diplomatic district of Hadda, the same source said.

Those explosions came shortly after two devices went off in a minibus parked in the centre of Sana’a not far from the defence ministry, also causing no casualties, a military source said.

— With inputs from AFP