SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Security officials say al-Qaida militants have killed three Yemeni soldiers in the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.
The military officials say that al-Qaida militants are trying to capture the provincial capital city of Hawtah in Lahj province. They say militants from across Yemen are now there fighting the army for control.
The officials say the army is using tanks to surround about 70 militants who are using residential homes as cover in western neighborhoods of Hawtah. They dozens of families from the impoverished city have fled in the past 24 hours.
The fighting there between militants and the army killed three soldiers Tuesday, one of them by sniper fire. Four others were wounded. All officials spoke anonymously in line with regulations.