The bodies of 25 migrants were recovered off Yemen on Monday after the boat that was carrying them capsized with up to 200 people on board, a provincial official said.
‘The boat overturned two days ago and was carrying between 160 and 200 people,’ said Jalil Ahmed Ali from the Lahij provincial authority, citing information given by Yemeni smugglers. The fate of the other people on board was unclear.
Fishermen in southern Yemen said that they had recovered the 25 bodies, saying the victims appeared to be of African origin — some of the many who try to reach war-torn Yemen before crossing into the wealthy Gulf states.
The fishermen said the bodies were floating in the waters of the Ras al-Ara area in the southern province of Lahij, overlooking the Bab al-Mandab strait off the coast of Djibouti.
‘We found 25 bodies of Africans who drowned when a boat carrying dozens of them sank off the Yemeni shores,’ said one of the fishermen.
‘We saw the bodies floating in the water 10 miles from the shores of Ras al-Ara,’ added another.
The UN’s International Organisation for Migration confirmed to AFP that a boat sank in the area but said it was still trying to establish the details of the incident.
Migrants often find themselves stranded in Yemen, which is mired in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis after six years of conflict.
In recent months, dozens of migrants have died in the Bab al-Mandab strait that separates Djibouti from Yemen, a major route for international trade but also for human trafficking.
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