Three policemen were killed by unknown gunmen in Yemen's southern province of Abyan late Wednesday, a government official told Xinhua.
The gunmen with assault rifles opened fire on military police officers stationed on the outskirts of Abyan province, killing three policemen at the scene, the local government official said on condition of anonymity.
"Soldiers of the brigade responded to the terrorist attack by firing several tank shells on suspected al-Qaida hideout in the same region," the government source added.
Yemeni military officials blamed militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country's southern parts.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, also known as Ansar al- Sharia, which emerged in January 2009, is considered one of the greatest threats to the Yemeni government and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.