Houthis claim southern Aden district
Shiite Houthi rebels gather in the Crater district of the the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on April 5, 2015. (AFP/Saleh Al-Obeidi)
Yemen's Shiite Houthi militant group claimed on Sunday control of Mualla, a district of the southern province of Aden.
Local residents told The Anadolu Agency that some of the homes had caught fire and that people were trying to rescue those trapped inside the burning homes.
Houthi militants, they added, had taken up positions on rooftops of high buildings, including the local headquarters of the Education Ministry.
According to the locals, the Shiite militants were given cover by tanks pounding nearby homes.
A member of the anti-Houthi vigilante group in Aden, meanwhile, said they had destroyed four Houthi tanks and besieged militants inside a number of schools and buildings.
"The major losses sustained by the Shiite group provoked them into firing discriminately at homes," he told AA, asking not to be named.
An official source from Aden, meanwhile, has accused the Shiite militants of hampering rescue operations in the southern province.
He claimed that the militants had seized two ambulances.
The Houthis, for their part, said clashes were still raging in Tawahi, another district of Aden.
Tawahi houses the headquarters of Aden TV, which backs embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the 4th military zone.
Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
On March 26, Saudi Arabia and several other states started launching airstrikes against positions of the Houthi group across Yemen.
The coalition says the campaign is in response to appeals by Hadi to "save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias."
For their part, the Houthis describe the offensive as an "aggression" on the Yemeni people.
Some Gulf countries accuse Shiite Iran of supporting the Houthi insurgency.