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49 migrants dead, 140 missing in shipwreck off Yemeni coast: IOM


Aden (Yemen), June 12
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that at least 49 migrants have drowned and 140 others remained missing after their overloaded boat capsized off the coast of Yemen.

The organisation said on Tuesday that the vessel overturned in the waters off the shores of Yemen's Shabwa province on Monday, marking one of the deadliest incidents along the treacherous migration route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, Xinhua news agency reported.

It said that among the victims were 31 women and six children fleeing conflict, drought, and economic woes in their home countries.

"The tragedy is another reminder of the urgent need to work together to address irregular migration challenges," said Mohammedali Abunajela, an IOM spokesperson.

The boat departed from Somalia's port city of Bossaso early Sunday, carrying 115 Somalis and 145 Ethiopians, including 90 women. Despite perilous journeys, thousands continue to transit through Yemen, hoping to reach Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

Search and rescue efforts by local authorities were hampered by a shortage of patrol boats and recent conflict in the area. Community members, including fishermen, played a vital role in recovering bodies and assisting survivors, according to the IOM.

So far, a total of 71 survivors have been rescued, with eight requiring hospitalisation for further medical treatment.

The IOM has mobilised medical teams and psychologists to provide emergency care and mental health support.

Since 2014, the IOM has recorded nearly 1,900 migrant deaths along the migration corridor from East Africa to Yemen, which is commonly known as the "Eastern Route".