Military sources in Yemen have said that at least 40 policemen and soldiers have been killed in the south of the country in simultaneous attacks by Al Qaeda.
One Al Qaeda assault targeted a special forces camp at Maifaa in the Shabwa province, killing eight policemen, at the same time as gunmen attacked two army posts 15 kilometres (9 miles) away, killing at least 32 soldiers, the sources said.
"Soldiers were captured" when the terrorists attacked the army posts in the Al-Nusheiba area, witnesses told the AFP news agency by phone.
The Yemeni authorities accuse Al-Qaeda of launching near-daily deadly attacks on the army and police in the south and east, where the radical Islamist network is active.
Al Qaeda strengthened its presence in Yemen after 2011, taking advantage of a weakness in the central authority following the uprising that forced out veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
On Sunday, a court in the capital jailed three Al Qaeda terrorists for plotting to assassinate Saleh's successor President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi as well as the American ambassador.
Yemen is the ancestral home of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Washington views Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula as the deadliest wing of the global terrorist network.