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Traffickers push up to 180 migrants into sea off Yemen

Traffickers push up to 180 migrants into sea off Yemen”

About 180 Ethiopian and Somali migrants, many weakened by hunger and drought in their home countries, were forced from a boat into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers on Thursday and 19 were presumed drowned, the United Nations migration agency said.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says at least 29 migrants were deliberately pushed into the sea by smugglers who did not want to get caught.

Smugglers Throw Nearly 280 Migrants Overboard Near Yemen Smugglers off the coast of Yemen threw as many as 280 migrants overboard this week, according to the International Organization for Migration.

IOM teams, working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, found the bodies of 29 migrants in shallow graves along the coast of Shabwa, now under the control of Yemeni troops backed by the United States. Those who survived the incident rapidly buried the dead upon reaching the shore.

The war in Yemen has left over 8,300 people dead and displaced millions since 2015, but the impoverished country continues to draw migrants from the Horn of Africa seeking work in prosperous Gulf countries further north. The majority of the migrants appeared to be teenagers and young adults.

The average age of the people headed to Yemen on Wednesday was 16.

Already this year, 55,000 migrants have taken the hazardous route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen to seek possible opportunities offered in the Gulf, IOM said.

Estimates say more than 50,000 migrants have made the journey to Yemen this year.

"The smugglers are panicking", de Boeck said, adding that reinforced border controls along the coast could be having a counter-productive effect. "Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future".

More than 111,500 migrants landed on Yemen's shores last year, up from around 100,000 the year before, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a grouping of global agencies that monitors migration in the area. A third of them are estimated to be women. They didn't succeed, they went back home, but the parents didn't agree with the fact that they didn't succeed so they send them back. "They are between 12 and 25 years old". The other route used by migrants to reach Europe is through the Mediterranean Sea.

"They have forgotten us a little bit", Mr de Boeck said.

"This is an unprecedented level of cruelty", wrote one Facebook user, Behailu Talegeta.

Yemen's conflict itself is a deadly risk. A boat carrying Somali migrants was attacked in March, killing 42.

More than 111,500 migrants landed on Yemen's shores last year, up from around 100,000 the year before, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a grouping of global agencies that monitors migration in the area.

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