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Scores of African migrants drown off Yemen

Boat smuggling scores of migrants overturns off southern Yemen coast, leaving at least 42 drowned.

Last updated: 10 Mar 2014 00:55
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At least 42 African migrants have drowned after their boat overturned off Yemen's southern coast, the defence ministry has said.

The boat smuggling dozens of migrants overturned off the coast of Beer Ali, in the southern Shabwah province, late on Sunday the ministry said in a brief statement on its news website 26sep.net.

A Yemeni naval patrol in the Arabian Sea saved at least 30 others who were taken to a refugee camp in the town of Mayfaa, it said.

A security official confirmed the incident to the AFP news agency but no more details were immediately available.

African migrants, especially Ethiopians and Somalis fleeing poverty and unrest at home, generally slip into southern Yemen by boat before heading north towards the Saudi frontier.

About 84,000 people from Horn of Africa countries flooded into Yemen in 2012, hoping to find jobs in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

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