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Bodies of 25 migrants found off Yemen after boat capsized: Official

Published: Updated:

The bodies of 25 migrants were recovered off Yemen on Monday after the boat that was carrying them capsized, a provincial official told AFP.

“Fishermen recovered 25 bodies,” said Jalil Ahmed Ali from the Lahij provincial authority, adding that a total of 200 people had been on board and that smugglers said the vessel overturned two days ago.

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The fate of the other people on board was not clear.

The stretch of coast is notorious for the smuggling of migrants from the Horn of Africa into Yemen.

Residents in Ras al-Arah said bodies had washed up at dawn on Monday. A boat sank around 18 nautical miles off the coast of al-Mokha, the local official said.

The perilous sea journey from Horn of Africa countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Djibouti, is part of a longstanding migration route to take people north through Yemen into the rich Gulf states for work.

“IOM is verifying reports that a vessel carrying a large number of migrants from the Horn of Africa has sunk off the coast of Yemen,” the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency, said on Twitter.

“IOM teams are on the ground and ready to respond to the needs of any survivors.”

Drownings on the route, run by people smugglers, are commonplace.

With COVID-19 and security restrictions blocking routes into Gulf states, some migrants are even making the return journey back to the Horn of Africa out of Yemen.

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