Militants have killed at least nine soldiers in attacks in south and eastern Yemen over the past three days, local officials said on Monday, just as the government sent more troops to the east to confront a growing al Qaeda threat.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), exploiting political turmoil during a 2011 uprising that forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, has repeatedly attacked state institutions, including army camps and government buildings across the U.S.-allied country, killing hundreds of people.

The stability of Yemen, which shares a long, porous border with the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and whose coast gives onto major shipping lanes, is an international concern. […]