Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida militants raided a military checkpoint in Yemen's central province of Marib on Sunday, killing two soldiers and injuring seven others in an apparent retaliation to a U.S. drone strike earlier in the day, a government security report said.
"Five al-Qaida gunmen on board a car carried out a surprise attack on a military checkpoint of the 3rd Infantry Brigade in a road close to the earlier drone strike site, killing two soldiers and wounding seven others," said the report issued by the interior ministry.
"The attack took place in the afternoon in an apparent revenge to the earlier drone strike. The 3rd Infantry Brigade sent reinforcement one hour later and fired heavily toward farms in the edge of Wadi Abida area, where the militants are believed to hide in," it said.
Earlier in the day, a U.S. drone strike killed at least two militants and injured several others in a raid on a house of the suspected militants outside Wadi Abida in central Marib, some 170 km northeast of the capital Sanaa.
The air strike was the second in less than a week after another U.S. drone attack killed five militants in the nearby southern province of Dhamar on Wednesday, according to the Yemeni government officials.
Dozens of al-Qaida members have been killed in such airstrikes since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012, after a year-long unrest weakened the control of the central government and allowed the militants to take over swaths of territory in the south. The Yemeni government managed to recapture several of those southern cities in May 2012.
On Jan. 23, a U.S. drone strike targeting armed militants mistakenly hit a house of civilians in Yemen's southeastern province of al-Bayda, killing two children, according to Yemeni officials.
by Editor: Mu Xuequan