| GEO Pakistan|
11 soldiers among 14 killed in south Yemen
| Updated at: 0031 PST, Saturday, August 21, 2010|
ADEN: Eleven soldiers were killed on Friday as the Yemeni army fought gunmen in the southern city of Loder, the interior ministry said, and medics said three civilians also died.
The soldiers were killed "in an ambush set up by Al-Qaeda terrorists and outlaws cooperating with them," the ministry said.
Eight of the soldiers were killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit their armoured vehicle, Loder regional security chief Yahya al-Barkani said.
The three civilians were killed -- and another four wounded -- when soldiers bombarded buildings near Loder market from where the military was being targeted, medical sources said.
The interior ministry said in a statement that the gunmen were "holed up in houses and certain areas near the marketplace in Loder."
Earlier, a local security source said the armed men involved in the firefight may have been Al-Qaeda members, but another local official said they could be linked to a southern separatist movement.
However, a member of the separatist Southern Movement coalition of secessionist groups categorically denied involvement.
"We reject such acts -- the Southern Movement uses only peaceful means to secure independence for the people of the south," Aydarus Haqis told media.