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ADEN (Reuters) - Suspected al Qaeda militants attacked a military checkpoint in the southern Yemen province of Abyan on Monday, killing four soldiers and wounding 10, a military official said.

Four men wearing explosive vests emerged from their truck at the checkpoint in the town of Mudia while the driver detonated the vehicle, the official told Reuters.

All five attackers were killed in the explosions, which could be felt throughout the town, he said.

Al Qaeda's local affiliate in Yemen, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), is considered one of its most dangerous.

The group has taken advantage of a more than two-year-old civil war between the Iran-aligned Houthi group and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's Saudi-backed government to strengthen its position in the impoverished country.

AQAP operates in several provinces in south and eastern Yemen, including in Abyan, Shabwa and al-Bayda.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mokhashaf, Writing by Katie Paul; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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