He said dozens of suspected Al-Qaeda militants took part in simultaneous attacks on three army posts in the Mahfad area of Abyan.
Two car bombs exploded before reaching their targets, while a third went off at the gate of a base, he added.
"The alertness of the soldiers foiled the militants' attempt to seize the military posts," the official told AFP, declining to be named.
He said two soldiers were killed and 11 wounded, while seven of the assailants died in gunfights in addition to the three suicide bombers.
In late April, the army launched a ground offensive against Al-Qaeda in Abyan and nearby Shabwa province.
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is active across several parts of Yemen, taking advantage of a collapse of central authority during a 2011 uprising that ousted veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Washington considers AQAP the most dangerous affiliate of the jihadist network because of its role in failed attacks against the United States.