ADEN, Yemen, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Four soldiers of Yemen's pro-government forces were killed and five others were injured by al-Qaida gunmen in the country's southern province of Abyan on Tuesday, a military official told Xinhua.
"Gunmen of the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch ambushed a patrol of the government forces in the Ahwar area of Abyan," the local military source said on condition of anonymity.
An armed confrontation was sparked following the ambush, leaving four soldiers killed and five others injured, he said.
He said that a unit of the pro-government forces was dispatched to the area and began tracking the perpetrators.
A series of gunmen attacks happened in recent months in various parts of the Arab country, leading to the deaths of members of security forces.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against the security forces in the country's southern provinces.
The AQAP has exploited years of deadly conflict between the Yemeni government and Houthi militia to expand its presence in the war-ravaged country.