Armed men kill seven soldiers in south Yemen clashes

ADEN, Yemen, June 6 Mon Jun 6, 2011 4:13pm EDT

ADEN, Yemen, June 6 (Reuters) - Armed men killed seven soldiers and wounded 12 others in clashes in the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar on Monday, a local official and witnesses said.

An army force had tried to storm the town of 20,000, capital of the flashpoint Abyan province in south central Yemen.

Last month, dozens of armed men believed to be from al Qaeda stormed into Zinjibar, chasing out security forces while seizing several government buildings and setting off blasts in others.

The army had withdrawn from Zinjibar after a battle with militants in March, but later regained control.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Martina Fuchs)