ADEN (Reuters) - Arab coalition forces killed six al Qaeda militants and arrested four others during a raid in southern Yemen on Tuesday, residents and a security official said.

The raid took place at a village west of the city of Mukalla on the Arabian Sea, the Yemeni security official told Reuters.

The Arab coalition was formed early in 2015 to fight Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi group after it took control of the capital Sanaa and forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee into exile.

Its mostly Gulf Arab members are also now battling Islamist militants in Yemen, including al Qaeda and Islamic State.

Taking advantage of Yemen's 20-month-old conflict, several hundred al Qaeda fighters have seized swathes of territory in rural and tribal areas of the impoverished country.

(Reporting by Mohamed Mukhashaf; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by Gareth Jones)