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The boat was carrying about 260 Somalis and Ethiopians from Somalia's northern coast on the 200-mile (320-kilometer) journey across the Gulf of Aden.  (Representative image via AP)

The boat was carrying about 260 Somalis and Ethiopians from Somalia’s northern coast on the 200-mile (320-kilometer) journey across the Gulf of Aden. (Representative image via AP)

Yemen is a key route for migrants from East Africa and the Horn of Africa trying to reach the Gulf States for work

A boat carrying migrants sank off the coast of Yemen, killing at least 49 people and leaving another 140 missing, the UN group said on Tuesday.

The boat was carrying about 260 Somalis and Ethiopians from Somalia’s northern coast on the 200-mile (320-kilometer) journey across the Gulf of Aden when it sank off Yemen’s southern coast on Monday, the International Organization for Migration said in a statement. .

Seventy-one people have been rescued and the search is ongoing, the group said, noting that 31 women and six children are among the dead.

Yemen is a key route for migrants from East Africa and the Horn of Africa trying to reach the Gulf states for work. Despite a nearly decade-long civil war in Yemen, the number of arriving migrants has tripled in recent years, from about 27,000 in 2021 to more than 90,000 last year, the IOM said last month. According to the agency, there are currently approximately 380,000 migrants in Yemen.

To reach Yemen, migrants are taken by smugglers on often dangerous, overcrowded boats across the Red Sea or the Gulf of Aden. In April, at least 62 people were killed in two shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti as they tried to reach Yemen. The IOM said at least 1,860 people died or disappeared along the route, including 480 who drowned.

Monday’s sinking “is yet another reminder of the urgent need to work together to address urgent migration challenges and ensure the safety and security of migrants along migration routes,” IOM spokesman Mohammedali Abunajela said.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – Associated Press)