Hundreds missing after boats capsize off Yemeni coast

January 19th, 2009 - 12:02 am ICT by IANS  

Sanaa (Yemen), Jan 18 (Xinhua) Hundreds of people were missing after three boats capsized in two separate incidents off the coast of Yemen Saturday, a UN official said here Sunday.In one incident, two boats, with around 300 African migrants on board, capsized on the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen. Around 30 people have been rescued, Laila Nassif, head of the UN High Commission for Refugees in Yemen, said.

In another incident, a boat carrying 120 migrants capsized on the Arabian Sea. Eighty people have been rescued in that incident, he said.

He added that all three boats had set off from Somalia. The bad weather has hampered the rescue work and the missing people are feared dead.

In the past, many African migrants have been drowned in the sea while trying to cross over to Yemen illegally. Some are also attacked by Somali pirates.

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