A senior Yemeni commander was killed in an attack by al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen on Tuesday, according to local authorities.
The government-aligned Security Belt Forces (SBF) said al-Qaeda militants attacked a security checkpoint in Ahwar district in Abyan province.
Yasser Shaye’, commander of the 1st Battalion, and a number of soldiers were killed in the attack, it added without giving a specific toll. Six al-Qaeda militants were also killed during the attack.
But Ahmed al-Madahdah, the director of Ahwar Hospital, said 15 soldiers and seven militants were killed in the attack.
Military headquarters in Abyan come under frequent attacks, usually attributed to Al-Qaeda, which is active in the mountainous areas on the outskirts of Ahwar and Al-Mahfad districts, east of the provincial capital Zinjibar.
The Yemeni army and forces of the allied Southern Transitional Council share control of Abyan province.