One bomber drove his vehicle into a checkpoint in the west of Mukalla while the second struck in the centre of the city, General Faraj Salemine told AFP, blaming the attack on “terrorists”.
The capital of Hadramawt province, Mukalla had been under the control of Al-Qaeda for one year until pro-government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition recaptured the city in April.
Yemen has been gripped in a devastating conflict that escalated in March 2015 when Saudi-led air strikes began against Iran-backed Huthi rebels after the insurgents seized northern and central parts of the country including the capital, Sanaa.
The violence has allowed extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group to extend their influence and launch scores of attacks on security forces.
Last month, IS claimed a wave of suicide bombings targeting Yemeni troops in Mukalla that killed at least 42 people.
The Pentagon said in May that a “very small number” of US military personnel had been deployed around Mukalla in support of pro-government forces.