SAN’A, Yemen—Al Qaeda militants have seized control of an important army base in the south of Yemen following clashes with soldiers, military officials from the country said on Thursday.

Officials say at least four troops and four militants died in the fighting and that at least 15 soldiers were taken hostage. The base is home to Yemen’s 19th Infantry Brigade and is located in the Baihan area in southern Shabwa province.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters.

A Twitter account affiliated with Yemen’s al Qaeda branch, considered to be the most dangerous of the terror network, posted images of militants raising their black flag over the base.

The photographs also show militants in armored vehicles. The images’ authenticity couldn’t be independently confirmed, but correspond to events depicted.

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