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SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Yemeni official says a suspected al-Qaida attack on a checkpoint in the southeast has killed nine soldiers and wounded four others.

Hisham al-Jabri, a military spokesman, said Wednesday’s attack in the Hadramawt province targeted an elite unit set up by the United Arab Emirates, which is part of a Saudi-led coalition battling the country’s Houthi rebels. He says five attackers were killed.

The Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Iran-allied rebels for more than three years in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people and devastated the Arab world’s poorest country. Al-Qaida and a local Islamic State affiliate have exploited the chaos to expand their reach.