Yemen arrests suspected female al-Qaida militants in country's south after military operation

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Security officials in Yemen say they've arrested women suspected of being al-Qaida militants after a security force operation in the country's south that left four soldiers dead.

The officials say that the women and a number of children were arrested in Hadramowt province early Wednesday. They say the arrests came after the suspected female militants fired assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades at authorities in the city of al-Shahr.

Officials say male militants on motorcycles later joined the fight. They say the clashes killed at least four soldiers.

Officials say the women are believed to be Saudi nationals. They say the women were transferred to Sanaa, Yemen's capital, for further interrogation.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalist.