At least 10 policemen were killed Friday in an armed terrorist attack by Al Qaeda militants on a security checkpoint in Yemen.
"Masked terrorists numbering 12 or 15 raided a security outpost of the special forces unit in the entrance of Qatan region in Hadramout province, leaving 10 policemen dead and two injured," a military official told Xinhua.
Some of the Al Qaeda attackers were either killed or injured as a result of the exchange of fire with soldiers at the checkpoint, the military source said without giving an exact number.
The Al Qaeda gunmen stormed the area around 2.15 p.m. and opened fire on soldiers manning the checkpoint, before destroying an armoured vehicle with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), the official added.
Residents said that the attackers drove in through the southern part of the region in a pick-up truck and motorcycles and managed to escape after carrying out the attack.
The military authorities in Hadramout sent enforcement troops to the area and a search operation was launched to follow and catch the perpetrators, according to the Yemeni officials.
The attack came just one day after gunmen suspected to be Al Qaeda members invaded the headquarters of the Fourth Military Region in the port city of Aden, leaving at least 16 people dead.
Last month, Al Qaeda militants killed 24 Yemeni soldiers of the special forces in an attack on military barracks in the southeast province of Hadramout.
Militants of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda offshoot were blamed by the country's government for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country's southern regions.
The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighbouring Saudi Arabia.