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80 African migrants feared drowned off Yemen coast

From Mohammed Jamjoom, CNN
Yemen is a common destination for African migrants fleeing economic hardship and war.
Yemen is a common destination for African migrants fleeing economic hardship and war.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two boats capsize in separate incidents off the coast of Yemen; search under way
  • The migrants are thought to be from Ethiopia and Somalia
  • Thousands of people cross the Gulf of Aden each year in search of a better life

(CNN) -- At least 80 African migrants were feared drowned Monday after their boats capsized off the coast of Yemen, authorities there reported.

The two boats sank in separate accidents.

One boat, which carried 45 migrants mostly from Ethiopia, capsized in the Red Sea, according to Yemen's official news agency, SABA. Three people on that boat, believed to be from Somalia, survived and were found on Yemen's coast, the agency said.

Between 35 and 40 migrants were on the second boat that capsized off the coast of Lahj province, SABA reported, citing the interior ministry.

Many of the people on board were women and children, according to the official website of Yemen's ruling party. It said all of the migrants on the second boat were from Ethiopia.

RELATED TOPICS
  • Yemen
  • World Politics
  • Africa

A search is under way to locate the missing.

Yemen, seen as a gateway to other parts of the Middle East, is a common destination for African migrants fleeing economic hardship and war because of its proximity on the nearby Arabian Peninsula.

Despite the dangers of the journey, thousands of people cross the Gulf of Aden each year, according to the United Nation's refugee agency.

 
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