ADEN - Islamist gunmen killed at least 32 Yemeni soldiers on Monday when they stormed a military position in southern Yemen where militants control broad swathes of territory, a military official said.

Yemen has a seen a surge in violence in the south since President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February. The government has responded with air strikes and the United States has repeatedly used drones to kill militants.

The attack on Monday came hours after a suspected U.S. drone strike killed two men in a neighboring province, including one the government described as a senior member of al Qaeda.

The military official told Reuters gunmen attacked Yemeni troops outside the city of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, killing at least 32 servicemen. He said they captured a number of soldiers and made off with weapons and ammunition.

At least 40 soldiers were wounded in the attack, the official and medical sources said.

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