ADEN (Reuters) - Suspected al Qaeda militants opened fired on a Yemeni military checkpoint in the southern province of Abyan on Sunday, a security official and residents said, killing six troops and a civilian.
The attack comes after the United States launched several days of air strikes against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the most active branches of the global militant group.
Government forces dubbed the "security belt" are deployed in the provinces around the southern port city of Aden which is the base of the country's internationally recognized government.
Nearly two years of civil war between the government backed by a Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-allied Houthi movement has allowed AQAP and Yemen's branch of Islamic State to gain territory and carry out attacks.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Noah Browning, editing by Louise Heavens)