Gunman kills nine at Yemen mosque

A gunman has opened fire on worshippers marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in southern Yemen, killing nine.

The gunman targeted men praying outside a crowded mosque in al-Dhale, a governorate about 115 miles south of the capital, Sanaa, during morning Eid el-Fitr services. Nine people were killed and another 10 wounded, officials said.

The gunman was arrested at the scene.

About 100 people have been killed in similar mosque shootings in Yemen in the last three years by people believed to be suffering from mental disorders or in tribal conflicts, according to the officials.

Also on Sunday, a Yemeni security official said a suicide bomber blew himself up in a town in the southern governorate of Abyan, killing a leading member of a civilian militia that has fought alongside government troops to drive al Qaida militants from their southern strongholds.

Another security official said that the death toll from an attack on Sunday on a government building in Abyan rose to 21, after a soldier died of wounds sustained when militants stormed the local intelligence headquarters.

The attack in the heart of the port city of Aden underscored al Qaida's ability to launch deadly strikes despite a two-month Yemeni military offensive backed by the US.

In a televised speech president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi pledged to fight terrorism and urged Yemenis to support his government as the country goes through a "dangerous and sensitive phase".