ADEN, May 6 (Reuters) - At least 80 people, many of them civilians, have been killed in the Yemeni port of Aden as fighting rages between Houthi fighters and local supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, rescue workers and residents said.
The dead included at least 40 Yemeni civilians who were trying to flee heavy fighting in Aden on Wednesday when the Houthi fighters fired shells at their boat, rescue workers said.
The civilians were among some 50 people who were on the boat as it left the al-Tawahi district of Aden and headed towards safer areas in al-Buraiqa in the west.
Residents and local fighters said 40 other people, including a senior army officer, had been killed in fighting overnight in other parts of Aden, including an estimated 30 Houthi fighters and 10 local gunmen.
They said Saudi-led air strikes had helped the local fighters beat back a Houthi offensive on al-Tawahi, knocking out three tanks.
Among those killed overnight was Brigadier General Ali Nasser Hadi, the residents said. President Hadi later appointed Brigadier General Saif al-Baqri to replace him.
A Saudi-led Arab coalition began air strikes in Yemen on March 26 against Iran-allied Houthi fighters, backed by forces loyal to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who seized control of parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
About 20 million people or 80 percent of the population, are estimated to be going hungry, the United Nations has said. (Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf, writing by Sami Aboudi, Editing by William Maclean and Gareth Jones)