SANA, Yemen — Secessionist rebels attacked a Yemeni
army truck carrying food to a unit in the southern Dali province on Tuesday, killing seven soldiers and wounding nine, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said.
An opposition leader in the southern secessionist movement, Ali al-Saya, said that the clashes were prompted by the army’s 33d brigade’s random shelling of three districts in Dali that destroyed five houses and killed six people.
The ministry described the attackers on its online forum as ‘‘subversive elements’’ who also set fire to an armored vehicle that accompanied the truck and said that the gunmen captured 14 soldiers.
‘‘The government and the army are responsible for this barbaric shelling and the people have the right to defend themselves,’’ Saya said.
Saya said angry armed tribesmen set fire to two armored vehicles, seized three army jeeps, and captured 15 soldiers.
Also on Tuesday, security officials said two gunmen killed a senior police officer in a drive-by shooting in the northeastern Marib province.