Eight people including four members of al-Qaeda were killed on Sunday in a clash between Yemeni tribesmen and militants in Maarib province, a tribal source said.
The firefight erupted after al-Qaeda fighters ambushed members of al-Rashid Munif tribe, wounding two of them, the source said.
Tribesmen returned fire at the Islamists, killing four, and four tribesmen were also killed, the source added.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is active in Maarib east of Sanaa, as well as in other provinces in south and east Yemen, despite repeated army offensives to break the group's back.
AQAP militants took advantage of a decline in central government control during a 2011 uprising that forced veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh from power to seize large swathes of territory.
Meanwhile, a Sanaa court jailed an Al-Qaeda member three years after convicting him of belonging to an armed group behind attacks in southern Yemen, Saba state news agency said.