Al-Qaida attacks in Yemen's south leave 7 dead

Yemeni military officials say al-Qaida fighters trying to take control of a key southern town launched two attacks on residents, leaving a total of seven people dead.

Officials say clashes in the city of Lawder killed two al-Qaida militants and an armed civilian fighting back.

Also on Sunday, a suicide bomber drove his car through a civilian checkpoint west of Lawder, killing three people manning it. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.

The militants want control of Lawder, a town of about 30,000 people, which lies on a key road linking two provinces. Clashes over the past week have left at least 200 militants and 20 civilians dead.

Many of the civilians in Lawder took up arms to protect their town against al-Qaida.