Yemeni officials say al-Qaida militants ambushed a military convoy on Friday, killing 12 soldiers.
Officials say the militants fired machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the convoy as it was traveling in southern Abyan province.
Authorities say the convoy was carrying supplies, including water, to military bases in the area.
Yemen's weak central government is struggling with a growing threat from al-Qaida, which has stepped up attacks in the impoverished country.
Meanwhile, the French News Agency (AFP) says secessionists militants in Yemen have kidnapped an intelligence officer and three other people.
The news agency quotes southern secessionist activists as saying the abductions were in retaliation for the government's hunt for a member of their group.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.