At least 20 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan, the defence ministry said on Sunday.

The attack also injured 20 people who were attending a funeral service held in the city of Jaar, the ministry said on its website.

Investigation is underway to identify the bomber and the victims, Abyan’s governor Jamal al-Aqel said.

Militants linked to al-Qaeda seized areas in southern Yemen last year, taking advantage of the weak government and security due to the political discord that has divided the military, with commanders supporting either former president Ali Abdullah Saleh or the opposition.

In recent weeks, the Yemeni army carried out a major offensive against militants and took control of most areas, supported mostly by US drones attacking insurgent hideouts.

Late Saturday, four militants were killed in a suspected US drone attack that targeted their vehicle in eastern Yemen, the ministry’s website reported.

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