AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
SANAA: Al-Qaeda militants killed eight Yemeni soldiers Tuesday in an attack on a make-shift military post on a desert road in the country's mostly lawless eastern provinces, a security official said.
"Al-Qaeda militants attacked a military position on the road between Hadramawt and Marib province (in the east), killing eight soldiers," the official said requesting anonymity.
He said at least four other soldiers were wounded in the attack.
Al-Qaeda gunmen attacked the soldiers just after dawn with "automatic weapons," the official added.
The attack is the latest in a deadly week of battles between Yemeni security forces and Al-Qaeda linked militants that have strengthened their presence in the country's south and east in the wake of the year-long uprising that eventually toppled former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
On Monday, at least 60 people were killed when Al-Qaeda militants raided a barracks in the southern Abyan province city of Loder, 40 of them Qaeda militants.
At least 14 soldiers were killed in the raid, including an officer.
The attack on Loder followed a series of air strikes that killed 24 suspected Al-Qaeda militants in their southern and eastern strongholds.
The city of Loder is located some 150 kilometres (95 miles) northeast of Zinjibar, the Abyan provincial capital which the Al-Qaeda linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) militants overran in May last year.
Al-Qaeda briefly overran Loder in August 2010 before being driven out by the army.
The United States considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the most deadly and active branch of the global terror network.