Gunmen attack Yemen police camp, kill two

A Yemeni soldier checks the identity of a man at a checkpoint in the capital Sanaa on April 15, 2014 (AFP Photo/Mohammed Huwais)

Aden (AFP) - Gunmen have killed two Yemeni police in an attack on a camp for anti-riot forces in the central province of Baida, an Al-Qaeda stronghold, an official said Thursday.

The assailants on board two vehicles fired machineguns at the camp in the town of Rada late on Wednesday, and on-duty policemen shot back at them, said the regional government official.

"Two policemen were killed and a third was wounded" in the clash, he said, adding the assailants fled after failing to storm the camp.

The official was unable to say if there were any casualties among the attackers.

Separately, the official said the authorities still had "no news of two policemen kidnapped two days ago in Baida," the provincial capital.

In January 2012, hundreds of extremists briefly took over Rada before withdrawing under pressure from powerful tribal leaders.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is active across several parts of Yemen and has taken advantage of a collapse of central authority during a 2011 uprising that ousted veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

It is considered by Washington as the most dangerous affiliate of the jihadist network for its role in failed attacks against the United States.

Attacks on members of the security forces are common in Yemen and usually blamed by officials on AQAP, which rarely claims responsibility.