Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bodies of 30 Somalis recovered off Yemen: UN

Bodies of 30 Somalis recovered off Yemen: UN

ADEN, Yemen- Feb 24, 2011- At least 30 Somali migrants drowned when their boat capsized in the Gulf of Aden off the Yemen coast, a UN official said Thursday.

Yemen's interior ministry said the boat capsized four nautical miles off the southern coast of Bir Ali during a wind storm on Tuesday, and had earlier put the death toll at 49.

But an official at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Aden confirmed that 30 bodies had been found and quoted a survivor as saying 55 people were on board.

The official, who requested anonymity, told AFP that the search for survivors was ongoing.

Fleeing poverty and unrest at home, tens of thousands of Ethiopian and Somali migrants sail to Yemen every year in hope of a better life. Many of them drown or die on board.

Yemeni coast guards in January found the bodies of 28 African migrants who apparently died in an attempt to enter the country illegally.

The UNHCR has estimated that 9,400 migrants reached Yemen between January and March 2010, compared with 17,000 for the same period in 2009.

Source: AFP

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