Air strikes hit Houthi military column heading to Yemen's Aden city - residents

ADEN (Reuters) - Saudi-led air forces attacked a convoy of Houthi armoured vehicles, tanks and military trucks travelling on the coastal road from the Arabian Sea town of Shaqra towards Aden in southern Yemen, residents said.

The Iranian-backed Shi'ite Muslim Houthi rebels on Friday opened a new front in their drive to topple Western and Saudi-allied President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, capturing Shaqra in preparation to march on Aden from the east.

Residents said war planes from the Saudi-led coalition struck the convoy early on Saturday on the al-Mukalla-Aden road, hitting a number of vehicles.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis on the strike and no details on any casualties were available.

Saudi-led forces began operations against the Houthis on Thursday after its forces closed in on Aden and appeared poised to capture it. The air strikes have bolstered local militias defending the city but had not blunted the offensive completely.

(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf, writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by David Evans)