55 more migrants deliberately drowned off Yemen, IOM says

REUTERS
GENEVA
Published 10.08.2017 14:19
Updated 10.08.2017 14:22
Migrants on a wooden boat await rescue by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) in the central Mediterranean in international waters off the coast of Sabratha in Libya, April 15, 2017 (Reuters File Photo)
Migrants on a wooden boat await rescue by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) in the central Mediterranean in international waters off the coast of Sabratha in Libya, April 15, 2017 (Reuters File Photo)

Some 180 Ethiopian and Somali migrants were forced into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers early Thursday and 55 of them are presumed to have drowned, the U.N. migration agency said.

It was the second such incident in as many days off Shabwa province in southern Yemen, where 50 teenage African migrants were "deliberately drowned" on Wednesday by a smuggler who forced 120 passengers off his boat, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

"We have seen five bodies and can confirm five dead... Fifty are still missing from this incident, so 55 are presumed dead," IOM spokeswoman Olivia Headon told Reuters. "It may be the start of a new trend, smugglers know the situation is dangerous for them and they could be shot at, so they drop them near the shore."

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