The officials say the attacker walked up to the checkpoint in the city of Zinjibar and detonated his explosives-laden vest today. The city was under al Qaeda control for months until a military offensive reclaimed the territory earlier this year.
The Yemeni officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Local tribesmen formed militias and fought both alongside the military in the government's offensive against al Qaeda and also alone in efforts to uproot the militants from villages and towns in the south.
They frequently come under attack from al Qaeda, which is still active in Yemen.
Sanaa: Yemeni security officials say a suspected al Qaeda suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint manned by pro-government tribesmen in the country's south, killing three militiamen.
First Published: Friday, November 16, 2012, 23:55