Suspected fighters have attacked the southern command headquarters of the Yemeni army in the city of Aden using a car bomb and rocket propelled grenades, security officials and witnesses have said.

The assailants fired rocket-propelled grenades and blew up a car bomb at the headquarters in the Tawahi district of Aden before infiltrating the complex on Wednesday, a security official told the AFP news agency.

At least six soldiers and one fighter were killed in the attack, security officials said, according to Associated Press news agency.

State-owned SABA news agency said the security forces prevented an attack on the headquarters as the car bomb exploded before it entered the army complex.     

Troops arrived to the place to protect the army base in Aden blockading it from all directions and gained the control of the headquarters, local sources said.

Clashes in Al-Hadida

In a separate incident, two Yemeni soldiers and two al-Qaeda fighters were killed on Tuesday during clashes in Yemen's western province of Al-Hadida, Yemeni ministry of interior said on its website.

An official source from the ministry told Reuters news agency that security forces detained four al-Qaeda fighters early on Tuesday. Fresh clashes then erupted, leading to the fighting in which the soldiers and fighters were killed, the source said, adding that the remaining al-Qaeda members fled to nearby mountains, leaving behind a car full of weapons.

Yemen has been in turmoil since mass protests forced long-term leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012. His successor, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has been struggling to restore order.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is one of the most active branches of the network.

Source: Agencies