Mogadishu (Somalia), June 11: At least 49 people lost their lives and 140 went missing after a boat carrying refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa to Yemen sank, Al Jazeera reported, citing the International Organization for Migration of the United Nations (IOM).

The ship capsized on Monday carrying about 260 people, mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia, who had set out from Somalia’s northern coast to sail 320 km (200 miles) across the Gulf of Aden to reach Yemen.

Refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa and East Africa in particular are increasingly faced with the perilous journey of reaching Saudi Arabia and other Arab states in the region via Yemen, as reported by Al Jazeera.

The IOM issued a statement on Tuesday saying 71 people had been rescued, eight of whom were taken to hospital. The dead also included at least six children and 31 women.

Earlier in April, at least 62 people were killed in two shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti as they tried to reach Yemen.

The IOM further said that at least 1,860 people have died or disappeared along the route, including 480 who drowned.

More refugees and migrants are choosing this route despite the devastating consequences of a nearly decade-long war in Yemen, which erupted after the Houthi group rose up and took control of large parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa, Al reported Jazeera.

However, the flow of migration has not been deterred even in the aftermath of the Israeli war against the Gaza Strip.

IOM spokesperson Mohammedali Abunajela said the boat’s sinking on Monday was “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.”

The Iran-aligned Houthis have been carrying out attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Gulf of Aden for months, demanding that Israel end the war on Gaza, with the United States and the United Kingdom responding with airstrikes on Yemen in an effort to international interests, Al Jazeera reported.

Last month, the IOM highlighted that the number of migrants arriving in Yemen has tripled annually between 2021 and 2023, from around 27,000 to more than 90,000.

Additionally, the agency reported that there are currently approximately 380,000 migrants in Yemen.

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