Scores of refugees drown as human trafficker forces them off boat near Yemen

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Cii Radio|Ayesha Ismail| 10 August 2017|17 Zhul Qadha 1438

Roughly 50 teenage Somalis and Ethiopians were “deliberately drowned” early on Wednesday by a smuggler who forced 120 passengers into the sea off Yemen’s coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

“The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them into the sea when he saw some ‘authority types’ near the coast,” Laurent de Boeck, the IOM Yemen Chief of Mission, said in a statement.

“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,” he said.

IOM staff found the bodies of 29 African refugees or migrants buried in shallow graves on the beach in Yemen’s southern province of Shabwa along the Gulf of Aden, while another 22 were missing after the tragedy, according to survivors.

“They were all quite young, the average age was around 16,” IOM spokeswoman Olivia Headon said.

IOM officials spoke with 27 survivors who reported that a further 42 people had survived but had already left the beach, she said.

Source – Trt World