SANAA - At least 30 people were killed in air strikes by a Saudi-led alliance on a Houthi-held security compound in northern Yemen on Monday, medical sources and officials said, in an escalating campaign that has claimed increasing civilian lives.
Gulf Arab forces and supporters of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, meanwhile, appear to be making scant progress in a ground offensive in the central desert against battle-hardened Houthi forces who control the capital Sanaa some 120 km (75 miles) to the west.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March to restore Hadi after he fled to Saudi Arabia when the Houthis, backed by supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, overran his southern stronghold of Aden.
A coalition jet fired a missile on Monday into police headquarters in the al-Shaghadreh district of the northern province of Hajjah, northwest of Sanaa, that is in the hands of the Iranian-allied Houthis, regional officials said.
A second missile crashed at the compound as rescue teams and residents arrived, causing a large number of casualties including at least 30 dead, according to medics on the scene.
Earlier in the day, coalition warplanes bombed a cement factory at Ibs, another Hajjah district. Local officials said the strike happened before workers arrived for work, but three shepherds who happened to be tending flocks nearby died.
Almost daily air raids by Saudi-led forces have escalated since the Houthis fired a land-to-land missile at a coalition base in central Marib province two weeks ago, killing more than 60 soldiers, most of them from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).