Assailants kill 7 soldiers in south Yemen

Attackers killed Seven Yemeni soldiers Monday in an ambush in the southern province of Shabwa, an official said, the latest in a spate of attacks on security forces in the country.

The unidentified group fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an army vehicle transporting the troops near the town of Mayfaa, the official said.

Five soldiers were killed instantly and two more died of their wounds before reaching hospital, the official said, adding three other soldiers had been hospitalised.

The same official had earlier said the vehicle had only been carrying five passengers, all of whom were killed in the attack.

Yemen has seen regular attacks on its security forces usually blamed on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which remains active in the south and east despite several government military campaigns against the militants.

The Arab world's poorest country is also grappling with an increasingly violent separatist movement in the south, which was independent between the end of British colonial rule in 1967 and union with the north in 1990.