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Dozens Dead as Smugglers Push Over 120 African Migrants Overboard Off Yemen

© REUTERS / Ismail ZitounyMigrants ride in a boat after they were rescued by Libyan coastguard off the coast of Gharaboli, east of Tripoli, Libya July 8, 2017
Migrants ride in a boat after they were rescued by Libyan coastguard off the coast of Gharaboli, east of Tripoli, Libya July 8, 2017 - Sputnik International
Dozens of migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia drowned off the coast of Yemen after a smuggler had pushed over 120 migrants out from a boat, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a press release on Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Shortly after the incident, IOM staff discovered graves of 29 migrants on a beach in Shabwa during their routine patrol, the press release added.

"Early this morning (09/08), a human smuggler, in charge of the boat, forced more than 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into the pitching sea as they approached the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea. The migrants had been hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen," the press release read.

"The dead had been buried rapidly by those who survived the smuggler’s deadly actions. IOM is working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure appropriate care for the deceased migrants’ remains," according to the press release.

German Navy sailors surround a boat with more than 100 migrants near the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' during EUNAVFOR Med, also known as Operation Sophia, in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
Almost 84,000 Migrants Arrive in Europe by Sea in 2017 - IOM
The agency's medical staff has also provided food, water and other emergency relief for the 27 surviving migrants, while 22 are still missing, the press release said.

According to IOM estimates, about 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa for war-torn Yemen since January 2017. More than 30,000 of those migrants are under the age of 18 and come from Somalia and Ethiopia, while a third of them are said to be female.

In late July, IOM reported about 316 Somali nationals being return to their home country from Yemen after a five-month effort by the IOM team to evacuate them following a smugglers' boat crash just a few kilometers away from Yemen's port.

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