At least one Yemeni soldier and a suspected al-Qaida militant were killed in clashes in Yemen's southern province of al-Bayda on Friday, local officials said. A security official said one soldier died and five other were injured when about ten suspected al-Qaida militants ambushed two military patrol vehicles in Dhi Naim area in al-Bayda province, about 268 km southeast of the capital Sanaa. The soldiers engaged with the militants, killing at least one militant and injuring three others before forcing them to flee, the official said. Elsewhere, gunmen riding a car opened fire at and killed a police officer near the Sanaa international airport on Friday night, an interior ministry official said. The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP), known locally as partisans of the Islamic Law, were blamed by the government for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the southern regions. The AQAP, which emerged in January 2009, is considered as the biggest threat to the Yemeni government and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.