45 dead in air raids on Yemen capital

Sanaa: Twenty civilians were among at least 45 people killed in Saudi-led air strikes on the rebel-held armed forces headquarters in the Yemeni capital on Sunday, a medic said.

The raids on the army headquarters in central Sanaa came a day after the kingdom´s air defences shot down a Scud missile fired from the war-torn country.

They also followed the UN confirmation of June 14 as the start date for peace talks between warring Yemen factions in Geneva, which both the country´s Huthi rebels and its exiled government said they will attend.

“At least 20 civilians and 25 soldiers and officers were killed” in four raids that hit the headquarters in the Tahrir residential neighbourhood in central Sanaa, the medic said.

The raids hit residential buildings, including five houses that were completely destroyed, witnesses said.

The rebel-controlled Saba news agency said 44 people were killed and more than 100 wounded “including woman and children”.

Later on Sunday, clashes broke out on the Saudi-Yemeni border where the kingdom´s army sent more troops and hardware, including tanks, Al-Arabiya satellite television reported, broadcasting footage of convoys heading south.

In the air war, seven Saudi-led raids also targeted the Jumaineh military base, east of the capital Sanaa, according to witnesses.

The base belongs to the elite Republican Guard that has remained loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has allied himself with the Huthis.

Other raids hit an arms depot at Nahdain, south of Sanaa.

Several rebel positions in the north, mainly in the Huthi stronghold Saada province and the provinces of Hajja and Amran, were heavily bombarded overnight by the coalition, witnesses said.