SANAA - Masked gunmen staged a deadly attack on Friday at a checkpoint in a historic Yemeni city, setting off a car bomb and exchanging gunfire with pro-government troops, security officials said.
Fifteen people were killed and 30 were wounded in the attack in the fortress city of Shibam in Yemen's Hadramawt province, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
The officials did not have further details on the casualties.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the officials blamed al-Qaida, which has captured much of Hadramawt, Yemen's largest province, and the provincial capital of Mukalla. The same checkpoint has been attacked in the past and al-Qaida has claimed those attacks.
Some officials say the perpetrators were from al-Qaida's rival, the Islamic State group, which has an affiliate in Yemen. It has claimed a series of bombings that killed 152 and wounded 345 people this year in Yemen.
Yemen's al-Qaida branch has benefited from the war that has convulsed the country, pitting the Shiite rebels known as Houthis and their allies against the internationally-backed government forces.
At least 2,615 civilians have died since the fighting intensified in March and a Saudi-led, U.S.-supported coalition began launching anti-rebel airstrikes, according to the U.N.