ADEN, Yemen, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of the violent clashes between Shiite Houthi gunmen and tribal militia linked to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the southern port city of Aden increased to 26 on Wednesday, according to military sources.
A source with pro-Hadi tribal militia told Xinhua that nine of their fighters were killed and 15 others injured during fighting with Houthis in Aden's neighborhood of Mu'alla.
"More than six military vehicles backed by infantry fired heavily against our fighters near the Presidential Palace in Aden. And we responded strongly, but some people were martyred at the scene," the source added.
Meanwhile, a military source close to the Shiite Houthi gunmen told Xinhua that 17 members of the group were killed in the armed clashes with Hadi's paramilitary forces, while 13 others were wounded.
The source of Houthis said that "a surprise attack was carried out by our fighters, specifically at the crossroads between the districts of Mu'alla and Cirater districts where dozens of pro-Hadi troops are stationed."
Earlier on Wednesday, a number of military officials confirmed to Xinhua that the Houthi gunmen supported by some troops stepped up their offensive against pro-Hadi forces in several districts of Aden province and deployed heavy armored vehicles everywhere in the city.
According to Aden's deputy governor, who confirmed to Xinhua during an exclusive interview, that the random shelling also damaged several electricity substations, water tanks and destroyed about seven private houses in Cirater district in Wednesday's fighting.
The security situation in Yemen has sharply deteriorated since early March when conflicts erupted in several provinces in the country's southern regions.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia started late last month air strikes on Houthi targets in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and other cities, saying the multinational action is to protect President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's legitimacy and force the Houthis to retreat from cities they have seized since September 2014.