Armed extremists killed a woman in Yemen's main southern city of Aden when they raided several homes whose owners allegedly have alcoholic drinks, residents and a security official said on Friday.

"More than 10" armed men on motorbikes stormed three houses in Aden's Memdara neighbourhood on Thursday, residents said.

The owners fled except for one woman who remained in one of the apartments, the sources said, adding that the gunmen shot her dead before driving off.

A security official in Aden told AFP that "we have received a complaint stating that Islamist extremists have killed a woman." He did not give any further details.

Extremists took advantage of a year-long uprising in Yemen that ousted veteran strongman president Ali Abdullah Saleh, seizing control of large swathes of territory in the country's southern and eastern provinces.

Despite giving up most of these territories after an all-out army offensive against them that ended in June, many have infiltrated the once bustling port of Aden in an attempt to impose their strict version of Islamic (sharia) law.

Thought to be linked to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the militants operate mainly by night, harassing young couples seen together and sometimes launching deadly attacks against security forces.