An air strike by a Saudi-led coalition on Wednesday hit a two-story motel north of the capital, killing at least 46 people, the latest in an escalating barrage of air assaults in war-torn Yemen this year, witnesses and officials said.
The ongoing war, which began with a Saudi-led intervention against Houthi-Saleh rebels, has plunged Yemen into one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history, with over three million people displaced and over 10,000 dead due to the conflict.
Meanwhile, local officials in the rebel controlled area told The Associated Press that at least 60 were killed.
The Saudi officials were not immediately available to comment.
Human rights groups have repeatedly criticised the coalition over the civilian death toll from the bombing campaign it launched in support of Yemen's internationally recognised government in March 2015.
The coalition has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country's ports and airports as a part of his aggression which is aimed at restoring power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
In a speech on Sunday, Saleh summoned party supporters to hold a mass rally in Sanaa on August 24, a planned show of force that has deeply irritated the Houthis.
The rebel alliance has meanwhile showed signs of fracturing, with the Houthis and Saleh loyalists trading accusations and threats ahead of a rally on Thursday to mark the 35th anniversary of the founding of Saleh's party, the General People's Congress.
Houthis slammed Saleh and in a statement released yesterday, labelling Saleh a " traitor who crossed a red line".
Saleh promptly left the square after speaking and shortly after heavy gunfire rang out nearby, but his supporters said it was celebratory and denied reports of clashes with Houthi fighters. As president, Saleh fought the Houthis from 2004 till 2009 in their northern heartland of Saada.