World Bulletin / News Desk
The attack targeted a military base in the district of Mudiya in Abyan province, the officer said, requesting anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.
He said security forces shot dead four bombers, who ran out from the car and towards the base before they detonated their explosive belts.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Government forces captured Mudiya, a stronghold of al-Qaeda militants, last month.
Impoverished Yemen has remained in a state of civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in 2015 aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.
Last month, a UN human rights report said al-Qaeda was operational in parts of war-torn Yemen, taking advantage of the chaos gripping the Arab country.