Two Yemeni soldiers and a civilian were killed in an attack on Wednesday by Al-Qaeda militants on a police station in the southern town of Jaar, a local official said.
"Members of Al-Qaeda attacked the station with automatic weapons and hurled a grenade, killing two soldiers and a civilian," said the official.
Abdulaif Sayed, the chief of the local Popular Resistance Committees which fights the Islamists alongside the army, voiced fears of a return of Al-Qaeda militants to the town.
In addition to Jaar, Al-Qaeda gunmen also controlled Abyan's provincial capital of Zinjibar, which they overran in May last year, before being driven out in a mid-June all-out offensive by the army.
But militants remain in nearby mountains, Sayed said, complaining of an absence of security forces in the province. Locals also expressed fears of a return of the militants.
"Al-Qaeda has disappeared, but life is not really back to normal," said Salama Ahmed, a Zinjibar resident. "The state is absent and there is no water, nor electricity," he said.