Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed was not killed but eight of his bodyguards died in an attack that took place outside the office of Yemen's prime minister in the capital city of Sanaa, CNN reported.
The incident comes one day after Yemeni forces said they killed Said al-Shihri, the second in command of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Officials are waiting for DNA confirmation of al-Shihri's death.
U.S. counter terrorism adviser John Brennan has described al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula as "very, very dangerous" and "the most active operational franchise" of al-Qaida.
The group was behind the so-called underwear bomb attempt to bring down a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009 and the 2010 effort to smuggle bombs in printer cartridges onto U.S.-bound cargo planes.