SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Security officials say fighting in western Yemen has killed three soldiers and two al-Qaida militants.
The officials say militants first attacked a security checkpoint early Tuesday in the town of Wassab in Damar province, killing one soldier, then fled to the nearby Hudayda province.
Security forces pursued the militants into Hudayda, where clashes lasted for nearly two hours. The officials say two soldiers and two militants died while four were arrested. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Yemen's al-Qaida branch, also known as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, is considered by the U.S. to be the terror group's most dangerous offshoot.
It controlled much of southern Yemen after the 2011 uprising, but U.S. drone strikes and Yemeni military operations have limited the militants' foothold since then.