Suicide bombers targeted two army checkpoints in Yemen's south-eastern port city of Mukalla on Monday, 18 July, killing at least six soldiers and wounding several others. The bombs targeted checkpoints in the east and west of the city, which is a former stronghold of Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The Yemeni army's Second Military Command, based in Mukalla, said that the suicide bombers tried to attack the al-Burum area southwest of Mukalla with a booby trapped bus and they attacked al-Ghaber district to the west using a booby trapped car. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the two bombings.

Amid conflicting reports on the casualties, General Faraj Salemine told AFP news agency that at least five soldiers were killed in the two suicide attacks. An army statement, however, reported that the attacks left at least six dead and another 18 injured. The statement also said that forces at the checkpoints confronted the vehicles and "forced them not to cross the security barriers."

Earlier, medics were quoted by Reuters as saying that at least 15 people were taken to hospital with injuries and five of those were in serious condition.

Mukalla, the capital of Hadramaout province, had been under the control of AQAP for over a year before security forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, with the help of Saudi-led coalition, ousted them in April.

Islamic State (Isis) claimed a host of suicide bombings targeting Yemeni forces in Mukalla in June that killed about 42 people. Extremist organisations like al-Qaeda and IS (Daesh) have taken advantage of the chaos and instability in the country to establish their presence.

The ongoing conflicts in Yemen became worse in March 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition started air strikes against Houthi rebels, who captured parts of the country, including the capital Sana'a. Since March 2014, the conflict has claimed at least 6,400 lives and displaced around 2.8 million people. In May, Washington said they had deployed a very small number of US military personnel in the port city to support pro-government forces.