ADEN - The governor and police chief of Yemen's main southern city Aden escaped unharmed Tuesday after an attack by Al-Qaeda gunmen that left three assailants dead, an aide said.

Aden's governor Aidarus al-Zubaidi and its police chief General Shallal Ali Shayae were travelling in a convoy in Aden's central Mansura district when they came under fire, said Zubaidi's aide, Mansur Zaid. "Al-Qaeda gunmen opened fire at the convoy and (security) guards responded," he said, adding that the two senior officials escaped "unharmed". "Three of the attackers were killed and four guards protecting the convoy were wounded," said Zaid. This is not the first time militants target top security officials and the governor of Aden, which has been declared a temporary capital by the Yemeni government after Huthi rebels overran Sanaa in 2014.

Zubaidi and Shayae survived a car bombing that targeted their convoy in Aden on January 5 and killed two of their guards.

The governor was appointed in December following the murder of his predecessor, Jaafar Saad, in an Aden bombing claimed by the Islamic State group.

The port city has seen a growing militant presence, with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, long active in Yemen, and IS apparently vying for influence.

The militants have gained ground elsewhere across southern Yemen in recent weeks, including in Lahj province which is home to the strategic Al-Anad air base.

Troops taking part in a Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels and their allies are stationed in Al-Anad. Military sources said unmanned aircraft carried out strikes for the second day Tuesday on positions held by Al-Qaeda in Lahj.

The drones hit government buildings and nearby farms held by the militants in provincial capital Huta, the sources said. Other drone strikes targeted radio headquarters and other Qaeda-held buildings in nearby Abyan province, the sources told AFP without reporting casualties. Similar raids killed three people in Huta on Monday, according to a local official.