(Photo: AFP)
More than 40 percent of Yemen’s air defences were destroyed by Saudi airstrikes. (Photo: AFP)

Aden, Yemen, 9 Jumadil Akhir 1436/29 March 2015 (MINA) – By Friday afternoon, more than 40 percent of Yemen’s air defences were destroyed, according to Yemeni Brigadier General Saleh al-Subaihi, who supports embattled Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who fled the country.

A joint Arab airstrikes continued for a third straight day on Saturday, hitting targets in the city of Hudaydah on the Red Sea Coast, the Houthi stronghold of Saada in the north, and military installations in and around the capital Sanaa, Al Jazeera quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

At least 24 civilians were killed in Friday’s strikes, bringing the toll from two days to 45 civilians, the Houthi-run Interior Ministry said.

The Houthis’ TV station showed footage from a market in Saada it said was struck by missiles, with images of charred bodies and wrecked vehicles.

Yemeni security officials said around 80 fighters from forces loyal to the Houthis or to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh had been killed in the strikes, according to the Associated Press news agency. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to talk to the press.

Air strikes also struck the base of Saleh, who ruled the country for more than 30 years. Saleh is believed to have fled to Sanhan, near the capital.

The figures of civilian and combatant casualties could not be independently confirmed, though Amnesty International said at least six children were among those killed in Sanaa on Thursday. (T/P001/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)