Two Yemeni soldiers and two suspected Al-Qaeda fighters were killed Friday when special forces stormed a militant hideout in the southern province of Daleh, the defence ministry said.
The force raided an apartment in the Damt area rented by militants a week ago allegedly to plot an attack, the ministry said on its 26sep.net website.
"Two terrorists of Al-Qaeda were killed in the clash... which also cost the lives of Major Hani Hamdan and Sergeant Ali al-Fakih," the ministry said.
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The global jihadist network's Yemen branch, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, is viewed by Washington as its most dangerous and has claimed repeated deadly attacks, some of them in the heart of the capital.
Despite repeated attempts by the army to crush AQAP in its strongholds in the east and south, militants continue to carry out deadly attacks on security forces.
On Monday, suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen killed 20 soldiers, most of them in their sleep, in a dawn raid on a checkpoint in the eastern province of Hadramawt.
AQAP took advantage of weakening central government control during a 2011 uprising that forced veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh from power and seized large swathes of southern and eastern Yemen.
The army has since regained control of most of the region's main towns but the jihadists remain active in the countryside.