Six soldiers were killed on Tuesday in an incident of suicide car bombing in the southern port city of Aden, local police said.
The explosion happened near a security centre of Yemen troops in Aden's neighbourhood of Mansourah, Xinhua quotes the Interior Ministry in Aden source as saying.
Another police official said that a suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden car blew it up next to a building used to store food and meals for the Yemeni forces in Aden.
Post-incident UAE sent its security forces to the area as part of a search operation.
"The suicide bomber killed him on the spot and an exchange of gunfire was heard in the area", Xinhua quotes a witness as saying.
The conflict in Yemen, which began in 2014, has claimed more than 100,000 lives so far. Saleh was overthrown in the ensuing conflict and had reportedly fled to Saudi Arabia for a while.