At least 32 people have been killed in missile and drone attacks at a military parade in Yemen.

Houthi rebels, who are aligned with Iran, have claimed responsibility for the attacks on the military camp in the southern port city of Aden.

The camp belongs to the Yemeni Security Belt forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, which is a member of the Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthis.

The Houthi's official channel Al Masirah TV said the group had launched a medium-range ballistic missile and an armed drone at the parade, which it described as being staged in preparation for a military move against provinces held by the movement.

A pro-government military source and security sources said a leading figure of the southern separatists, was among those killed.

The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014.

The government of Abdu-Rabbu Mansour Hadi controls Aden. The Houthi movement, which says its revolution is against corruption, holds Sanaa and most of the biggest urban centres in the Arabian Peninsula nation.

The parade "was being used to prepare for an advance on Taizand Dalea," a Houthi military spokesman said.

There was no immediate comment from the Yemeni government or the coalition.

Last month the UAE said it was scaling down its presence in Yemen, pulling some troops from areas including Aden and the western coast deployed for operations against the Houthis in the main port city of Hodeidah, where a UN brokered ceasefire has been in place since last December.

An Emirati official said the UAE would not leave a vacuum in Yemen as it had trained 90,000 Yemeni forces, drawn from among southern separatists, including Security Belt forces, and coastal plains fighters.

The Houthis have stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities and the coalition has responded with airstrikes on Houthi military sites, mostly around Sanaa.

The escalating violence could complicate UN-led efforts to implement a troop withdrawal in Hodeidah, the main entry point for Yemen's commercial and aid imports, to pave the way for political talks to end the war amid mistrust among all parties and competing agendas of Yemen's fractious groups.

The four-year conflict, widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has killed tens of thousands and pushed Yemenis to the brink of famine.

In a separate attack in another district of Aden, an explosives-laden car blew up at a police station killing three soldiers, a security source said.

It was not clear if the incidents were related. Previous car attacks in Yemen have been carried out by Islamist militant groups like Al-Qaeda.