SANAA, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni air forces raided a suspected al-Qaida convoy in the eastern province of Marib on Sunday, killing at least three militants, the defense ministry said.
"The raid targeted three vehicles carrying militants of the terrorist al-Qaida network in the desert area of Sanda in Marib on Sunday afternoon, killing at least three militants and destroying two of the vehicles," the ministry said Sunday night in a statement on its website.
Yemen's air forces, with support of U.S. drones, have recently intensified raids against targets of al-Qaida insurgents in Yemen' s southern and eastern regions, where the al-Qaida took over control of some towns since May 2011, after the outbreak of mass anti-government protests.
Marib, some 150 km east of the capital Sanaa, is home to most of the country's oil and gas stockpiles.
Earlier in the day, Yemen's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Company said it has resumed operations after repairing its feed pipeline transporting gas from Marib to Belhaf terminal in the southeastern province of Shabwa, which was bombed by suspected al-Qaida militants last month.
The interior ministry has said Tuesday that it ordered to tighten up security around oil and gas facilities as a precautionary measure against potential terrorist attacks.
The Yemeni government is dependent on oil production, with oil and gas export accounting for about 63 percent of the impoverished country's budget.