Six suspected al-Qaeda militants and three Yemeni troops died in clashes Sunday in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, a local official said.
Five other militants were arrested as army troops raided a house in al-Qatn city where a “terrorist cell” was holing up, the ministry’s website quoted an unnamed military source as saying.
Five soldiers were injured in the clashes, the source added.
“At dawn, armed forces bombarded a house where Qaeda fighters had barricaded themselves in, killing three of them and wounding others,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The body of a fourth militant was later found in a house in the Hadramawt town of Qatan, along with four people who were arrested, a military source said.
He said the people arrested were two men – a Yemeni and a Somali – and two women, a Pakistani and a Philipina.
In response to the army’s action, other militants arrived from nearby and attacked an army position in Qatan, sparking a shootout, the local official said.
“Three soldiers were killed and six wounded during four hours of fighting,” the official said, adding: “Two of the attackers died and four were wounded.”
Weapons of various calibre were used in the skirmish and several nearby homes were damaged, witnesses said.
On Thursday a policeman and two militants died in clashes in Mukalla, capital of Hadramawt.
Authorities in the city said they had prevented three suicide car bomb attacks against an official residence, a police barracks and another police site.
The defence ministry said it had “thwarted a dangerous criminal plan by Qaeda” in Mukalla.
To deal with the growing number of attacks attributed to Qaeda-linked militants, the army has stepped up its presence with a view to launching an offensive against the extremists.