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  • 80 African Immigrants Drown off Yemen Coast

    Published on January 4, 2011

    About 80 African illegal immigrants, mostly Ethiopians, drowned off the Yemeni coast when their two boats capsized in the Gulf of Aden, Yemeni Interior Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

    The accident was apparently caused by winds and strong tide which capsized the two boats that were carrying them towards the Yemeni coast,” the statement cited the coast guard in the southern city port of Aden as saying.

    The Yemeni coast guard launched a search campaign and has so far found out two bodies of the Ethiopian nationals while the others are still missing, the statement said.

    It said “one boat with 46 migrants, mostly Ethiopians, capsized in the Yemeni coastal region of Al-Areetha, between Bab Al-Mandab Strait and Dhubab coast of the Yemeni province of Taiz, in which all those onboard drowned except three Somalis, who survived.”

    The other boat with 35 to 40 Ethiopians, including women and children, sank off the coast of the Yemeni southern province of Lahj, the ministry said.

    The search campaign is still underway to rescue any possible survivors, the ministry said without specifying the date of both accidents.

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said last April that escalating numbers of nonstop influx of African refugees posed an increasing heavy burden on Yemen’s limited resources.