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Attacks kill 7 Yemeni troops, officials say

From Hakim Almasmari, For CNN
  • Suspected al Qaeda militants fired on a military checkpoint, Yemeni officials say
  • Security officials also reported an attack in a neighboring province

(CNN) -- At least seven Yemeni troops have been killed in two attacks in the southern part of the country, Yemeni officials said Friday.

In one attack, suspected al Qaeda militants fired on a military checkpoint, killing three soldiers and wounding seven others, officials with Yemen's central security agency said. The officials declined to give their names, as is custom.

The gunmen were shouting "Allahu Akbar" -- "Allah is greatest" -- witnesses told CNN. The militants targeted about 20 troops with machine guns, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades, the officials said, citing an account from one of the wounded soldiers.

That attack happened in Abyan province, which has been the scene of attacks against military camps, security checkpoints and other government targets. Authorities have blamed al Qaeda and separatists.

The second attack happened in neighboring Lahj province, where an officer and three soldiers were killed and four injured, officials at a security committee in that province said. They also declined to be named, following custom. The state-run Saba news agency also reported that an officer and three soldiers were killed in the attack, citing "an official source."