Tuesday, April 07, 2009

More Somali migrants drown off Yemen coast

More Somalis are feared drowned in the waters of the Gulf of Arden. The war in Somalia are driving many people out of the country, many try to make it to Europe or Asia, but rough seas sometimes stop them. 17,000 Somalis have arrived in Yemen since the start of this year.

From the Fort Worth Star Telegram we receive the United Nations report in this Associated Press story.

Dozens of Somali migrants sailing across the Gulf of Aden are missing and feared dead after one boat capsized and another ran into trouble in rough seas, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.

A smuggling boat carrying 40 Somalis capsized late Saturday as passengers were disembarking off the coast of Yemen about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Mayfa'a, where the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees operates a reception center, a spokesman said.

Twenty people made it to shore, the rest are missing, William Spindler told reporters in Geneva.

Eight Somalis are known to have died on Sunday afternoon when another smuggling boat carrying 23 passengers hit rough seas some 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Mayfa'a, he said. Thirteen made it to shore and two are missing.

"Witnesses said some of the deaths were due to suffocation after the smugglers covered the passenger area with a tarpaulin to prevent water from getting in," Spindler said.

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