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IOM: Smugglers ‘deliberately drowned’ migrants near Yemen

Up to 50 people believed to have been migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia have been “deliberately drowned” near Yemen, Deutsche Welle reports. The UN’s migration agency has called the killings “shocking and inhumane.”

Smugglers forced more than 120 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia – most of them teenagers – off of a boat near the coast of Yemen on Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration announced in a statement. According to the IOM, survivors buried 29 bodies and at least 22 people remain missing.

“The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them to the sea when he saw some ‘authority types’ near the coast,” said Laurent de Boeck, the UN’s body’s chief of mission in Yemen. “They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route.”

IOM staff provided aid for 27 survivors who remained on the beach. Others left to attempt to continue on their journeys.

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