70 Ethiopian migrants drown in shipwreck off Yemen coastPublished Posted on | By TZTA News
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The UN refugee agency said Monday 21 bodies have been recovered after Yemen reported dozens of Ethiopian migrants drowning when their boat sank near the entrance to the Red Sea.
The interior ministry in Sanaa said in a statement posted on its website Sunday that 70 migrants had died when their vessel capsized in bad weather off the port of Al-Makha, near Bab el-Mandab strait.
“All those who were on board died,” the statement said, adding that they were all from Ethiopia.
It named the boat’s owner as known people smuggler Ahmed Salem al-Hilali, and said security forces were hunting for him.
The ministry did not say when the accident took place, but the UN refugee agency’s representative in Sanaa, Jamal Al-Najjar, told AFP it happened more than two days earlier.
“So far, we have recorded the bodies of 21 Ethiopian migrants who died in a shipwreck overnight Friday Saturday off Al-Makha,” he said.
“The search continues for more possible victims.”
Thousands of people fleeing troubled Horn of Africa states try to reach Yemen every year in the hope of using the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state as a stepping stone to oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.