ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- About 10 pro-government soldiers were killed and more than 18 others injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden car among anti-terror army reinforcements in Yemen's southern province of Lahj on Sunday, a security official told Xinhua.
No group has so far claimed the attack, after which the soldiers also clashed with a group of masked assailants when they launched an armed attack, the local security source said on condition of anonymity.
The armed attack was later repelled and several of the assailants were injured at the scene.
The army reinforcements came from the neighboring Aden province to launch anti-terror offensive and fight extremists in Lahj, said the source.
In Aden, large Yemeni-Saudi military preparations are ongoing for a new anti-terror offensive to flush out al-Qaida militants from Abyan province and southern areas around, said government officials.
Last December, gunmen of the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) took full control over two strategic towns in neighboring southern Abyan province, about 45 km from Aden, where Yemen's internationally recognized government has based itself.
Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional al-Qaida insurgencies in the Middle East.
The AQAP, also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, emerged in January 2009. It had claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks on Yemen's army and government institutions.
It took advantage of the current security vacuum and the ongoing civil war to expand its influence and seize more territories in Yemen's southern part.
Security in Yemen has deteriorated since March 2015, when war broke out between the Shiite Houthi group, supported by former President Ali Abdullash Saleh, and the government backed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition.
More than 6,400 people have been killed in ground battles and airstrikes since then, half of them civilians.