A suicide car bomb at a checkpoint in central Yemen killed 11 soldiers on Monday, Saba state news agency said, as the army led an offensive on Al-Qaeda militants suspected of holding European hostages.
"Eleven soldiers were killed and 17 others were wounded in the attack," Saba said.
The attack targeted a checkpoint manned by members of a battalion of the elite Republican Guards on the road between Rada and Manaseh, where the army military operation was taking place, according to tribal sources.
Elsewhere in the same province, an Al-Qaeda ambush killed a soldier and wounded two others, according to one tribal source.
Another three people were killed in an army operation launched late on Sunday against Al-Qaeda-linked militants suspected of holding an Austrian and two Finns hostage in Manaseh, in Bayda province, tribal sources said.
The army is hunting three militants accused of holding the European hostages and who have refused to surrender despite mediation efforts.
Earlier this month, Yemeni security officials said the Europeans were being held by Al-Qaeda-linked tribesmen in Marib.
A senior security official told AFP the army will continue its offensive until the three suspects surrender. "The Dahab men must surrender. They will be responsible for the consequences of the ongoing operation."
The Austrian man and Finnish man and woman were abducted in Sanaa on December 21 as they prepared to travel to the southern port of Aden via Yemen's second city Taez.