At least 35 people are missing after a boat carrying migrants capsized in bad weather off the coast of Yemen.

Officials said they had rescued 13 African migrants near the Bab el-Mandeb strait on Monday after a boat was overturned by strong currents and high waves.

Eight Ethiopians and five Somalis, including a woman, have been saved, while the body of a Somali had been retrieved, General Saleh al-Sabbari told the official Saba news agency.

The boat was carrying 49 people, Sabbari added.

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

In December, Yemen said 70 migrants had died when their vessel capsized in bad weather near the same strait as Monday's sinking.

On May 31 last year, 60 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia along with two Yemeni crew members drowned, according to the UN refugee agency.

In the past five years, more than 500,000 people, mostly Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalis, have reached Yemen following treacherous journeys on vessels that are often overloaded.

Source: Agencies