Sanaa: Suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed 13 Yemeni troops and captured 15 others in an attack in the Red Sea port city of Hudeida, security and tribal sources said Sunday.
The overnight attack targeted security headquarters in Hudeida, which Shiite Huthi rebels seized in mid-October as they expanded across several towns and cities with almost no resistance from government forces.
Al-Qaeda frequently carries out attacks on Yemen`s security forces and it has been locked in deadly battles with the Huthi rebels.
Dozens of Al-Qaeda suspects took part in the attack on the security forces headquarters in Jabal Ras, in Hudeida, "killings 13 soldiers, wounding 10, and capturing 15 others," a security official said.
The assailants seized the building but three of the militants were also killed, the official said.
Army reinforcements were sent to Jabal Ras and negotiations launched with the assailants to withdraw from the building, a tribal dignitary said.
"Tribal mediation is underway to secure the withdrawal of Al-Qaeda militants and the release of the captured soldiers," the source told AFP.
Yemen is a key US ally that has allowed Washington to conduct drone strikes against Al-Qaeda on its territory.
The Huthis easily overran Sanaa in September before moving on to Hudeida as well as Shiite-populated Dhamar and neighbouring Ibb.