Two soldiers and six suspected al Qaeda attackers were killed and 10 soldiers wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber and gunmen tried to storm an army camp in southern Yemen, a local security official said.
Al Qaeda has exploited more than two years of civil war between President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's internationally- backed government and the Iran-aligned Houthis to try to deepen its influence in Yemen, repeatedly launching bomb and gun attacks on security forces, government officials and compounds.
"This was a terrorist attack and it has been foiled," the official said of the attack in Juhayn, Abyan province.
The Yemeni army has been preparing to deploy across Abyan to try to drive al Qaeda militants out of the province, local officials have said.
Last week, Yemeni forces, backed by U.S. and UAE soldiers, deployed in neighbouring Shabwa province where al Qaeda also operates. Local residents and officials said the militants withdrew into the mountains without a fight.
In March, 11 people were killed in a suicide bombing and gun attack by suspected al Qaeda militants on a local government compound in al-Houta, provincial capital of Lahj - another southern province.