At least 11 dead, 34 missing after boat with Somali migrants capsizes

Story highlights

  • A boat full of Somalis fleeing violence in their homeland left for Yemen last Saturday
  • Its engine failed, and the boat was adrift for 5 days before capsizing, the U.N. reports
  • 11 bodies were found on Somali beaches, 34 people are missing, and there are 13 survivors
  • Tens of thousands flee Somalia and Ethiopia each year, many heading to Yemen
A boat carrying Somalis fleeing violence in their homeland capsized this week in the Gulf of Aden, leaving at least 11 people dead and another 34 missing, a U.N. agency said.
The vessel carrying 58 people, and captained by three smugglers, had set off from Somalia destined for Yemen last Saturday, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday in a news release.
The boat's engine failed soon after. Survivors later told authorities that the smugglers then forced 22 people to jump overboard, the U.N. said.
Those remaining were adrift at sea until Wednesday, when -- rocked by bad weather and rocky seas -- the boat capsized.
Beginning that night on Somali beaches, locals found 13 survivors, including two adult women and a teenage boy and girl. Most suffered from skin burns caused by fuel inside the boat, the U.N. agency said.
U.N. partners and local authorities transported these survivors from the Somali village of Qaw to the port city of Bossaso so they could get medical treatment.
In addition, 11 bodies have washed up on beaches near the village of Ceelaayo.
The U.N. says that each year, tens of thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians pay smugglers to help them flee violence in their native nations. Last year alone, more than 100,000 refugees, migrants and refugee seekers ended up in Yemen, despite the political insecurity in that Arab nation.