SANAA, Yemen – Yemeni security officials say that al-Qaida militants have killed 11 soldiers in two separate attacks.
They say that the Sunday attacks killed six troops at a security checkpoint in the southern coastal city of Shukra in Abyan province, and another five in the province of Hadramawt.
The security officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
The United States has stepped up airstrikes as part of a sustained assault on al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula in areas of Yemen where it is most active, after a late-January special operations raid that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL.
Washington considers AQAP one of the most dangerous branches of the group, which maintains strongholds in territory seized amid the chaos of civil war.