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Yemen: Human Smugglers Intentionally Drown African Migrants at Sea

HeadlineAug 11, 2017

In the Arabian Sea, the U.N.'s migration agency says scores of migrants are missing and feared drowned, after a pair of incidents in which human smugglers ordered migrants off their boats and into the roiling ocean off the coast of Yemen. On Thursday, the International Organization for Migration said at least 19 migrants were presumed dead after smugglers pushed them into the sea away from the coast in an effort to avoid Saudi-led patrols off the coast of Yemen. Thursday's incident came a day after another smuggler ordered 120 passengers off his boat, many of whom drowned. This is Laurent de Boeck of the International Organization for Migration.

Laurent de Boeck: “So, there were only—it’s already too many, but five bodies today. But there are 50 others that we absolutely don’t know where they are. They’re certainly still in the sea, and we have doubts that they would be alive still.”

Most of the migrants were from Somalia and Ethiopia and were seeking to travel through Yemen to Gulf states.

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