Arab coalition warplanes bombed a security complex near the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah earlier today, killing 60 people including inmates of a prison on the site, a regional official, relatives and medical sources said.

The prison in the city's al-Zaydiyah district was holding 84 inmates when it was struck three times late on Saturday, Hashemal-Azizi, Deputy Governor of the Houthi rebel-controlled Hodeidah province of the same name, told Reuters.

Local officials said the site lies within a security complex for the area guarded by Houthi militiamen but that only prison security guards were present during the night-time air strike.

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting Yemen's armed Houthi movement since March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was driven into exile by the Iran-allied group in late 2014.

A Reuters witness at the security complex said the entire building was destroyed and medics pulled about 17 bodies away -many of them missing limbs - while others remained stuck under the rubble.

One of the strikes directly targeted the building, the witness added, bringing it down over the heads of the prisoners, while two others hit the gate of the complex and nearby administration buildings.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The air attack was one of the deadliest among thousands of bombings which have largely failed to dislodge the Houthis from the capital Sanaa but have repeatedly hit schools, markets, hospitals and homes, killing many civilians.