39 dead in Yemen since Saudi-led strikes began: Officials

Sanaa: At least 39 civilians have been killed in more than 24 hours of Saudi-led air strikes against Shiite rebels in Yemen, health ministry officials said on Friday.

Twelve of the victims were killed when a raid against a military base north of Sanaa hit surrounding residential areas, officials from the rebel-controlled ministry told AFP.

Witnesses said warplanes targeted Al-Samaa base, which is used by army units believed to take orders from their former commander Ahmed Ali Saleh.

Saleh is the son of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is accused of allying with the Huthi rebels against President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi. At dawn today, three air strikes hit the presidential compound in south Sanaa which the rebels seized last month, witnesses said.

Overnight raids targeted another army brigade loyal to Saleh in the eastern province of Marib, tribal sources said. A military official said that Saudi-led coalition jets also bombed a large arms depot in a third army camp used by forces loyal to the former strongman.

The official spoke of 'dozens' of casualties at the camp, located in Sanaa's southern outskirts, but the information could not be independently verified.

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