At least 40 pro-government soldiers from the Al Amalikah Brigades were killed and 70 injured in a Houthi rebel missile attack on a military base in southern Yemen on Sunday, military officials said.
"The death toll rose to 40 soldiers and 70 were injured in the attack," Lt Col Mohammed Al Naqib, spokesman of the fourth military district in the pro-government southern forces, told The National. The attack targeted Al Anad military base in southern Lahj province.
Most of the injured are in a critical situation which may increase the death toll in the coming few hours, the military spokesperson said. One of the missiles directly hit a hangar where tens of soldiers were resting while another targeted another group during training.
"Four ballistic missiles hit while a squad from the third battalion in the Al Amalikah forces was carrying out military training around 9.10am," said Gen Ali Al Awlaki, director of the pro-government Military Operations Room in Aden.
Al Anad, the largest military base in Yemen, is 60 kilometres north of Aden.
The base is controlled by the Yemeni government and hosts troops from the Saudi-led Coalition fighting alongside the Yemeni government against the rebels.
It was not immediately known if any soldiers from the coalition were killed or injured in the attack.
"The missiles were fired from areas under the Houthi control in Taez province and preceded by drones that hovered over the base minutes before the attack," Gen Al Awlaki said.
Lt Col Al Naqib said the drones spotted the soldiers during their training and the missiles were launched later.
Al Anad base was the target of a Houthi drone attack in January 2019, as high-ranking officers were watching a parade of newly graduated cadets.
Several top commanders died or suffered serious injuries in that attack. The head of the Yemeni Army's intelligence service, Gen Mohammed Saleh Tammah, and the deputy chief of staff, Gen Saleh Al Zandani, were both killed.
The latest attack comes amid a stalemate in international efforts to broker a peace deal between the government and the rebels.
Yemen's civil war started in 2014 when the Houthis invaded Sanaa and forced President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi's government to flee. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in the war in March 2015 at the government's request.
The conflict has caused tens of thousands of deaths and created what the UN has described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.