SUSPECTED AL-QAEDA GUNMEN LAUNCH ARMED ASSAULT ON YEMENI FORCES

Suspected al-Qaeda militants launched an armed attack on a pro-government military checkpoint, in Yemen's southern province of Abyan on Sunday, leaving four soldiers killed and a number of others injured, a security official said.

Armed confrontations between the soldiers and the al-Qaeda attackers lasted about half an hour at the checkpoint, in the coastal city of Shuqra, in the eastern outskirts of Abyan province, the security source said.

Elsewhere in the war-torn Arab country, suspected U.S. war planes launched a series of air strikes against al-Qaeda-held positions, in the south-eastern province of Shabwa and in neighbouring province of al-Bayda, on Saturday night.

Residents confirmed that, U.S. drones and apache choppers fired missiles on a house in Yakla village, in al-Bayda province, leaving unknown number killed and injured at the scene.

The mountainous areas in Shabwa and Abyan provinces, have been the scene of U.S. drone attacks and clashes between Yemeni security forces and militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch, since the emergence of the group in the country eight years ago.

The militant group has yet to make comments about the latest U.S. air strikes that targeted its positions, for the fifth consecutive day.

Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional Al-Qaeda insurgencies in the Middle East.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK