Pro-secession gunmen ambushed a military patrol and killed two army soldiers in Yemen's southern province of Lahj on Sunday, a government official told Xinhua.
A military patrol that was attempting to apprehend some wanted men for sabotage acts was ambushed by pro-secession gunmen in Lahj, leaving at least two soldiers killed, the local official said on condition of anonymity.
"The secessionist attackers tossed home-made grenades and opened fire at army troops, sparking a short shootout at the scene, " the government source said.
The official said a number of pro-secession gunmen were also wounded.
In response to the ambush, the army dispatched reinforcement to the area, where a security cordon is in place, according to local residents.
The government authorities have blamed an armed faction of the pro-secession Southern Movement for similar attacks last year that have killed many senior military and intelligence officials.
North and South Yemen unified peacefully in 1990, but their relationship deteriorated in 1994. Calls for separation in the country's southern regions were renewed in 2007, as southerners complained of being marginalized.
Pro-secession protests have multiplied in the south amid a worsening economic situation in Yemen. Endi