ADEN, Yemen, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Three civilians were killed and five others wounded when a minibus ran over a roadside bomb in Yemen's southern province of al-Dhalea on Wednesday, a security official told Xinhua.
"The deadly incident took place in Sanah area of al-Dhalea province. The injured citizens were all shifted to the public hospital in the city," the local security source said on condition of anonymity.
He said that the bus, which was carrying nearly eight family members including women and children, was damaged by the blast.
The security official said that an investigation was underway and blamed elements of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch for being behind the blast.
Witnesses told Xinhua by phone saying that the explosion occurred just a few minutes after a convoy carrying senior military leaders passed from the same road.
Hundreds of newly-recruited Yemeni troops backed by the United Arab Emirates arrived on Monday in al-Dhalea province for the first time and were deployed around key government facilities.
Leaders of the UAE-backed Security Belt Forces also visited al-Dhalea and urged local citizens to firmly stand against "sabotage elements and kick out terrorists from their areas."
During the past two years, the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other terrorist groups including the Islamic State had an active presence in Yemen's southern part.
Both the al-Qaida militants and Islamic State group often launch suicide and roadside bombings against Yemeni security forces based in several provinces of the country.
The impoverished Arab country has been locked into a civil war since the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern provinces, including capital Sanaa, in 2014.
Saudi Arabia leads an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels forced him into exile.
The United Nations has listed Yemen as the country of the world's number one humanitarian crisis, where seven million Yemenis are on the brink of famine and cholera has caused more than 2,000 deaths.