Security officials say suspected al-Qaida militants have attacked a military camp in central Yemen, sparking heavy clashes that killed at least five soldiers.

The officials say militants tried to storm the camp on Thursday morning on the outskirts of the city of Radda, 160 kilometers (100 mile) south of the capital, Sanaa.

They say the attack also wounded 10 soldiers. The military sent reinforcements and helicopters hovered overhead as the battle raged.

The officials say at the same time, a guard opened fire at a suspicious man outside a court in Radda. The gunshots set off the explosives and the would-be suicide bomber was blown up before he could stage an attack.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.