Suspected Al-Qaida militants killed nine Yemeni soldiers in two separate ambush attacks on their convoys in the southern province of Abyan, a military official said on Sunday.
"A military reinforcement convoy coming from (the main southern city of) Aden was ambushed south of (the provincial capital) Zinjibar on Saturday killing six and wounding others," said the official.
Also late on Saturday, "three soldiers were killed and 36 others were wounded when another convoy was ambushed" in a nearby area, he added, blaming Al-Qaida for both attacks.
Yemen is the home of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of the slain Osama bin Laden's militant network. The group is blamed for anti-U.S. plots including trying to blow up a U.S.-bound airplane on Christmas Day in 2009.
The United States said Friday it hoped for future cooperation from Yemen in fighting Al-Qaida and that its efforts were not contingent on embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Saleh, a declared U.S. ally in its war on "terror", was transferred to Saudi Arabia for treatment late Saturday after he was wounded in a blast that targeted his Sanaa compound Friday.
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