September 14, 2015 / 5:13 PM / 4 years ago

Ten killed in air strike on Sanaa as fighting starts in central Yemen

SANAA (Reuters) - Ten people were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a suburb in the capital Sanaa on Monday, medical sources and residents said.

Smoke rises from the al-Dailami airbase after it was hit by an air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa September 14, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

The strike targeted a government building in the Waalan area in the south of Sanaa, sources said. Seven of those killed were from the same family.

The Saudi coalition began air strikes against the Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late March after they pushed from their northern stronghold towards the southern port of Aden.

International human rights groups have expressed concern at the number of civilians killed in the raids.

The coalition, which says the Houthis are allied with Iran, has stepped up air strikes on Sanaa, and other Houthi-held areas since a Houthi missile killed more than 60 Gulf Arab troops stationed in Marib province on Sept. 4.

On Sunday five Saudi soldiers were killed near the border with Yemen, the Saudi Press Agency reported, while a Saudi-led military coalition began an offensive to drive Houthi militia forces out of Marib.

The statement said the five Saudis were killed in southern Najran province.

One Emirati serviceman was killed in the ground offensive in Marib, the United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM said on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Yemen’s exiled government pulled out of U.N.-mediated peace talks with the Houthis.

The Houthis seized Sanaa last September and eventually forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his administration to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Yara Bayoumy and Maha El Dahan; Editing by Angus McDowall and Larry King

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