61 dead in 3 days of clashes in Yemen's Aden: health official

Members of the Yemeni security forces and tribal gunmen, both loyal to the Huthi movement, brandish their weapons on March 26, 2015 (AFP Photo/Mohammed Huwais)

Aden (AFP) - At least 61 people have been killed in three days of fighting between Shiite rebels and loyalist militia in Yemen's main southern city Aden, a senior health official said Saturday.

"There are at least 61 people dead and 203 wounded," Aden health department director Al-Kheder Lassouar told AFP, raising an earlier toll of 54 killed.

The situation has become increasingly tense in Aden, with supporters of Huthi rebels, under fire from a Saudi-led coalition elsewhere, clashing with "popular committees" -- an anti-Huthi militia controlling parts of the city.

Saudi warships evacuated dozens of foreign diplomats from Aden hours before the kingdom launched air strikes Thursday on the advancing rebels Thursday, state television reported Saturday.

The official Saudi news agency SPA said 86 people had been pulled out Wednesday.

The announcement was delayed until their arrival Saturday aboard to vessels at a naval base in the Saudi Red Sea city Jeddah.