Officials say 3 soldiers killed, 15 wounded in militant ambush in east Yemen

Yemeni security officials say three soldiers including a senior officer were killed in an ambush by militants while visiting a main oil pipeline that had been blown up by militants on Friday.

The officials say they believed the militants in the attack were from al-Qaeda. The army began an offensive last week in the restive, oil-rich Marib province east of the capital to target militants who repeatedly attacked the pipeline and power lines in recent weeks.

Fifteen soldiers were injured in Saturday's ambush in Marib. The militants stole six military vehicles.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

The U.S. considers the local al-Qaida branch the world's most active. The U.S. has helped Yemen intensify its campaign against militants.