ADEN, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Nine people were killed on Tuesday in clashes between armed men and Yemeni soldiers in the southern city of Dalea, local residents and the Defense Ministry said, in escalating unrest in the province.
The Defense Ministry's website said four soldiers and one officer were killed in the clashes. Fourteen other soldiers were kidnapped by what it described as saboteurs after an attack by gunmen on a truck carrying food supplies.
Local residents reported that four civilians, including a child, had also died in the clashes. The province is regarded as a stronghold for southern separatists demanding restoration of the former socialist state that merged with North Yemen in 1990. (Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf, writing by Mirna Sleiman, editing by Sami Aboudi)