Suspected Al-Qaida gunmen are holding a group of high-ranking officers captive after shooting their way into a military base in Yemen.

A group of terrorist fighters seized control of a base in the Hadramawt region by storming the compound and holding a gun battle with troops inside.

According to reports from an unnamed colonel, security guards were shot dead - although the death toll is not yet known at the complex in the central eastern part of the country.

A number of officers are now in the hands of the terrorist fighters, according to the Associated Press.

Yemen has become a frontline in the war on terror in recent years and is the base of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom withdrew all staff from its Embassy in the country due to security concerns.

Drone strikes targeting high-ranking members of the terror group are regularly carried out by the United States. Raids by the pilotless bombers killed 17 suspects in just one week this summer.

In August Al-Qaida shot down an army helicopter as it flew over a stronghold of the terror group in Yemen. Eight people including a commander were killed.