Suspected al-Qaida militants attacked an army checkpoint in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Friday evening, leaving at least three soldiers killed, a security official told Xinhua.
A group of masked gunmen with assault rifles attacked a checkpoint along the main road linking Hadramout and Shabwa province, killing at least three soldiers before they fled the area, the local security official said on condition of anonymity.
"The armed attack took place around sunset in the area of Roweek... and a short shootout broke out later between the al- Qaida suspects and army troops," the security official said.
"It was an apparent attempt by al-Qaida militants to seize the key checkpoint, but they did not succeed," he added.
On Thursday night, Brigadier Omar Salim Ba-Rashid, director of the military academy, was killed after a blast ripped through his car in Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadramout.
Over the past few months, several army bases and police centers have been hit by gun and bomb attacks attributed to the Yemen- based al-Qaida wing, locally known as the Partisans of Sharia ( Islamic Law).
The al-Qaida militants have claimed responsibility for assassinating several army commanders and intelligence officers of southern regions weeks after they were driven out of their bastions in Abyan and Shabwa provinces in a U.S.-backed offensive.