Yemen army repulses al-Qaida attack in the south, killing 18 militants and losing 2 soldiers

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Yemen's Defense Ministry says that the army has repulsed an assault by al-Qaida militants near a southern city, killing 18 of them and losing two soldiers.

The statement said the militants attacked an army battalion as it was making its way to the Sayoun, in the southern province of Hadramawt, adding that an undisclosed number were arrested, including Saudi nationals.

Army units have been reinforcing the city over fears of attacks by al-Qaida, which has a powerful presence in the southern region of the country.

In the spring, the military waged a wide offensive against al-Qaida's strongholds in the south and destroyed a number of the group's training camps in mountains.