Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Five al Qaeda members were killed and seven others were wounded Monday in clashes with the Yemeni army in Abyan province, the state-run SABA news agency reported.
Citing a military source, the agency said the army arrested six al Qaeda members who were trying to sneak into Aden province to launch attacks against economic and other vital facilities there. The six specialized in making roadside bombs and were carrying batteries and radio devices, the agency added.
Yemen has been consumed by unrest for months as protesters have demanded an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule. In recent weeks, government troops have battled both anti-government tribal forces and Islamic militants, including al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Saleh and other senior officials were wounded June 3 in an attack on the mosque at the presidential palace and taken to Saudi Arabia for treatment.
Saleh was expected to make a public appearance Monday, though presidential adviser Ahmed al-Soufi would not say Sunday whether that appearance would take place in the capital, Sanaa, or in Saudi Arabia.
The United States has been aiding Yemen's military in its fight against Islamic militants amid fears that al Qaeda is exploiting the political chaos and leadership vacuum engulfing the unstable and impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
CNN's Nic Robertson and Mohammed Jamjoom contributed to this story from Sanaa