Five suspected al-Qaida militants were killed when their explosives-laden car they were building went off prematurely in Yemen's southeastern province of Shabwa on Sunday, a tribal chief told Xinhua. "About five terrorists were killed while trying to plant explosives and prepare a suicide car bomb to target and kill army forces in Shabwa province, but suddenly it exploded and killed themselves," the local trial chief said on condition of anonymity. A police source confirmed to Xinhua that "a team of investigators found the terrorists' bodies and the wreckage of their car inside a house in Haban region in Shabwa." He said intelligence reports suggested that the five were all members of the al-Qaida. Two would-be suicide bombers among the killed were Saudis, according to the source. The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, known locally as Ansar al- Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), has yet to make comments. Militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot were blamed by the country's government for a series of assassinations and suicide attacks, mostly in the country's southern regions. The al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.