Aden, Jun 8: Unknown gunmen launched an armed attack on a mosque in Yemen's government-controlled southern province of Dhalea on Friday, a security official told Xinhua.
"A group of gunmen believed to be extremists attacked a mosque in Azariq district of Dhalea province, killing at least five worshippers at the scene," the security source said on condition of anonymity.
Local residents told Xinhua that a prominent social figure was among the injured in the attack.The attackers used automatic assault rifles and randomly shot worshippers performing their prayers, before fleeing the area with a four-wheel-drive vehicle, they said.
The attackers also kidnapped three people from inside the mosque in the aftermath of the attack, they added.No one or group has claimed responsibility for the shooting so far.
Large areas of Dhalea are witnessing non-stop armed confrontations between the Yemeni government forces and the Houthi rebels who advanced on the country's southern part during the past months.
Yemen has been mired into a civil war since late 2014, when Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.
The civil war has killed more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, displaced 3 million others, and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine. (XINHUA)