ADEN (AFP) - Seven Yemeni soldiers were killed and six others wounded on Saturday in clashes with suspected Al-Qaeda forces in the southern province of Abyan, a military officer said. The fighting took place near Dofes, a village south of the provincial capital of Zinjibar that has been occupied by extremist elements since the end of May, the source said. "Al-Qaeda fighters hidden in a wooded mountainous area opened fire on army units heading from Dofes to Zinjibar to try to rejoin the 25th Mechanised Brigade," which is encircled by the Islamists, the source said. "Seven of our soldiers were killed and six others wounded in clashes which continued for several hours," he added.