Sana’a - Security officials say gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in southern Yemen, killing at least five policemen and wounding three.

The officials say the assailants struck on Friday with hand grenades and an RPG launcher at a checkpoint in Abyan province. The province is located 195km northeast of Yemen’s port city of Aden.

The officials say the attackers also set on fire an armoured vehicle before fleeing the scene after seizing police machine guns. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the media.

They blamed the attack on Al Qaida.

Yemen has been at war since 2014, when Iran-backed Al Houthi militia took over the capital, Sana’a, prompting a Saudi-led military campaign to intervene to restore the internationally recognised government to power.