SANAA - Saudi-led air strikes on a funeral in Sanaa on Saturday killed more than 100 people and wounded more than 500, the rebels in control of the Yemeni capital said.

"The toll is very high: more than 520 wounded and more than 100 martyrs," health ministry spokesman Tamim al-Shami told rebel television channel Almasirah.

He said the toll was likely to rise further as there were "charred human remains" that have yet to be identified and many people unaccounted for following the strikes on a building where mourners had gathered in southern Sanaa.

There was no independent confirmation of the toll.

Senior health ministry official Nasser al-Argaly earlier gave a toll of 82 killed and 534 wounded.

Emergency workers pulled out at least 20 charred remains and body parts from the gutted building while others scoured the wreckage in search for survivors, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

The corpses were either completely burned or in pieces, and some of the wounded had their legs torn off and were being treated on the spot by volunteers, he said.

The insurgent-controlled news site sabanews.net said that coalition planes hit a building in southern Sanaa where hundreds had gathered to mourn the death of the father of a prominent local official.

The Huthis did not say if the official - rebel interior minister Jalal al-Rowaishan - was present in the building at the time of the attack which they dubbed a "massacre" nor did they indicate if other senior figures were attending the funeral.

Rebel Almasirah television said Sanaa mayor Abdel Qader Hilal was among those killed.

The Saudi-led coalition denied carrying out air strikes on a funeral in Sanaa.

The coalition said in a statement that it had no operations at the location and "other causes" for the incident must be considered.

It said the alliance "has in the past avoided such gatherings and (they) have never been a subject of targeting."

People had come from all over Sanaa to attend the funeral, said Mulatif al-Mojani, who witnessed the air strikes. "A plane fired a missile and minutes later another plane pounded" the building had gathered, he told AFP.

Another witness, who declined to give his name, described the attack as "war crime". "This was a funeral for one man in Sanaa and now it has turned into a funeral for tens of Yemenis," he said.

A security source, quoted by the rebel website, said a fire tore through the building after the strikes.

The Iran-backed Huthis swept into Sanaa in September 2014 and advanced across much of Yemen, forcing the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee Sanaa.

More than 6,700 people - most of them civilians - have been killed in Yemen since the coalition intervened in support of Hadi, according to the United Nations.

Ambulance sirens blared as they transported the wounded away and residents said local hospitals had issued an appeal for blood donations.

The so-called supreme political council set up by the Huthis and their allies - supporters of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh - urged the Yemenis to stage a protest Sunday outside UN offices in Sanaa to protest against "war crimes" committed by the Saudi-led coaliton.

The coalition has come under mounting international criticism in recent months over the civilian death toll in its aerial campaign.

A UN report in August said coalition air strikes are suspected of causing around half of all civilian deaths in Yemen.

It called for an independent international body to investigate an array of serious violations by all sides, after 4,000 civilians have been killed.

The coalition has told AFP it uses highly accurate laser- and GPS-guided weapons and verifies targets many times to avoid civilian casualties.

At dawn a suspected Saudi-led raid on a house near Bajil, in the Red Sea province of Hodeida, killed four civilian members of the same family, a local official said.

In addition to the mounting death toll, Yemenis are facing twin health and hunger crises.

The UN's children agency UNICEF estimates that three million people are in need of immediate food supplies, while 1.5 million children suffer malnutrition.

UNICEF said Friday that cases of cholera had been reported in Sanaa and third city Taez, calling on the international community to fund medical aid efforts.