A Yemeni soldier patrols a street after a suicide car bombing at the defence ministry in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on December 5, 2013.

At least five soldiers and three militants were killed on Monday in an attack on an army base in south Yemen.

Four soldiers also went missing after the raid on the Lahj province barracks by gunmen armed with automatic rifles and anti-tank weapons.

Military officials blamed the country's separatist Southern Movement for the attack.

More from GlobalPost: Artillery shells hit funeral tent in Yemen, killing 19

"Attackers from the Southern Movement armed with automatic rifles and anti-tank rockets launched the attack, destroying two tanks and killing five soldiers," a military official told Agence France-Presse on condition of anonymity.

"The assailants lost three men but they managed to abduct four soldiers."

But leaders of the secessionist group denied any involvement in the south Yemen attack, home to a powerful Al-Qaeda affiliate also suspected of carrying out several attacks on security forces.

Parts of south Yemen have been hit by unrest recently, with 19 people killed on Friday when shells landed on a funeral tent in the southern province of Dali.

The four shells hit as mourners were paying condolences to the family of a man killed during clashes between security forces and member of the Southern Movement.

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