"The tribal gunmen stormed a key military site of the government forces in Abyan's district of Lawdar, sparking hours of intense clashes late Tuesday night," a local military source said on condition of anonymity.
The clashes that lasted several hours killed at least five people, including three soldiers, and injured several others from both sides. The armed confrontations were caused by disputes over the deployment of patrols in the area between the two sides.
The security authorities in Abyan have set up an investigation committee and managed to cease the hostilities following a meeting with local military commanders and tribal leaders.
#Yemen: ʾAnṣār ash-Sharīʿah (al-Qāʿidah in Arabian Peninsula) claims to have targeted Southern forces (backed by the UAE) on Friday in Wādī ʿOmrān, Mūdiyah district, ʾAbyan governorate. The group added that 7 soldiers were allegedly killed. pic.twitter.com/IFxNcHHB9X
During the past months, military units of the Southern Transitional Council, which is a part of the Yemeni government, announced they were launching "a qualitative anti-terror operation and succeeded in raiding a key hideout of al-Qaida in Abyan."
Scores of al-Qaida militants hiding out in rocky and mountainous areas of Abyan and other neighboring provinces frequently carry out hit-and-run raids against Yemeni government forces.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula network has exploited years of deadly conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthi militia to expand its presence in the war-ravaged Arab country. It has carried out many high-profile attacks against the security forces in the southern provinces.