A suicide bomber has killed at least five Yemeni soldiers in an attack on a military base in the south of the country, according to a military official.

The official said the bomber drove a car laden with explosives and blew himself up on Friday at the gate of the army camp in Ahwar, an area in the southern province of Abyan.

Other fighters attacked soldiers in the camp with machine-guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), the source said, adding that 15 soldiers were wounded in the clashes.

The military official gave no detail on any casualties among the attackers, but said the fighting was still going on.

Local witnesses said a helicopter, apparently belonging to the Yemeni army, was circling in the vicinity.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is increasingly targeting Yemeni army facilities.

Last month, dozens of armed men stormed and captured the headquarters of the Yemeni army's Second Division in the eastern coastal city of Mukalla and seized some military personnel.

Military officials said four Yemeni soldiers were killed and nine wounded in a counterattackk to retake the base.

AQAP said in a statement last week that the September 30 attack targeted an operations room used by the US to direct drone strikes.

This was denied by a Yemeni official, who said the facility contained a counter-piracy room for monitoring and securing shipping routes in the Arabian Sea.

Yemen's state news agency Saba reported on Thursday that a soldier was killed and two injured in attacks in al-Bayda province, south of the capital Sanaa.

Saba said al-Qaeda fighters suffered heavy losses and were forced to flee, but provided no details.

Source: Reuters