SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen's defense ministry says its troops have foiled a militant attack on a military-affiliated hospital in the country's south, setting off clashes that killed four militants and two soldiers.

The ministry statement said the attack occurred early Saturday on the hospital in Hadramawt province, setting off a battle that lasted for an hour.

Yemen is home to one of the most active branches of al-Qaida group. The government has waged repeated offensives to drive out the militants from the south, most recently this spring. The group retaliated with a series of attacks against troops and security. On Thursday, militants carried out coordinated attacks against an airport, a military barracks and post office in the province, killing 15.