At least five soldiers were killed and four others wounded when a military checkpoint was hit by a suicide car bombing attack on Tuesday afternoon in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, a provincial security official told Xinhua.
"An al-Qaida suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a checkpoint manned by the 26th Brigade of the Republican Guards in Mukairas district in al-Bayda, killing himself along with five soldiers," Colonel Mohamed al-Haify, the security head of Mukairas district, told Xinhua by phone.
Four soldiers were also wounded in the attack, he said.
The suicide attack occurred at a checkpoint of the country's elite Republican Guards on one of the main highways linking al- Bayda with neighboring Abyan province, al-Haify said.
Meanwhile, Major Faiyez Mohamed, an officer with the Republican Guards in Mukairas, confirmed to Xinhua that five soldiers were killed and 13 soldiers were injured, some of them were in critical condition.
He also said one civilian in a car near the checkpoint was also killed in the car bombing attack.
Mukairas is located about 16 km north of the war-torn Lauder town in Abyan province which has seen fierce battles since last week between the government troops backed by tribal militia and resurgent al-Qaida militants.
The suicide attack came just a day after seven al-Qaida militants were killed in neighboring Shabwa province by a U.S. air strike, according to Yemeni security officials.
Yemen, one of the most impoverished country in the world that is struggling to end divisions in its army after the fall of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, has experienced a surge of terrorist attacks in its southern provinces which have most of the country's oil and gas stockpiles.
With support of U.S. drones, the Yemeni government has recently intensified battles against the al-Qaida wing in several southern provinces, including al-Bayda, Abyan, Aden, Marib, Shabwa and Hadramout.