ADEN, Yemen, About 10 pro-government soldiers were killed and nearly 20 others injured, when suspected al-Qaeda suicide bombing, targeted a police centre in Yemen's southern province of Abyan.

The security source, based in Abyan, said on condition of anonymity that, suspected al-Qaeda gunmen launched an armed attack on the main gate of the police centre in Zinjibar city, Abyan's provincial capital, sparking a short clash in the area.

A few minutes later, a suspected al-Qaeda suicide bomber slammed his explosives-laden car into the guards, stationed around the police centre, killing about 10 soldiers and injuring 20 others, the source said.

Residents said, the explosion was very huge and some nearby residential buildings were partially damaged.

Ambulances rushed to the scene, to rescue the injured soldiers to get treatment at public hospitals, in the neighbouring southern province of Aden.

Earlier this month, the Yemen-based al-Qaeda branch deployed scores of its well-armed fighters across three southern towns, in the country's troubled war-torn province of Abyan.

The UAE-backed Yemeni security forces withdrew from Abyan's towns, after receiving several ambushes and repeated armed attacks by al-Qaeda gunmen and failed to secure the province.

Yemen's internationally recognised government, that has based itself in the port city of Aden, 45 km away from Abyan, gave orders to some military units to kick al-Qaeda militants out of the southern regions urgently.

The province of Abyan is strategically important, due to its proximity to the port city of Aden, which houses ministers of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, after the capital Sanaa was militarily occupied by the Shiite Houthi group in Sept, 2014.

Yemen, an impoverished Arab country, has been gripped by one of the most active regional Al-Qaeda insurgencies in the Middle East.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), also known locally as "Ansar al-Sharia," emerged in Jan, 2009, claiming responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks against Yemen's army and governmental institutions.

The AQAP and the Daesh-linked terrorists took advantage of the security vacuum and ongoing civil war, to expand their influence and seize more territories in southern Yemen.