Dead, 50 Missing After Smugglers Push Somali, Ethiopian Migrants Into Yemen Sea

Up To 50 Migrants Killed Off Coast Of Yemen After Smuggler Forces Them Overboard

Scores of migrants 'deliberately drowned' by traffickers near Yemen

About a third of those forced into the sea when the smugglers thought they saw authority figures on the beach were women.

On Wednesday, traffickers pushed over 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into the Arabian Sea off Yemen's southern Shabwa governorate, according to the IOM.

"This is shocking and inhumane", de Boeck continued.

Five bodies were recovered during an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) beach patrol in Shabwa province, and about 50 more people were missing.

The passengers' average age was around 16, according to the agency.

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IOM says around 55,000 migrants have left the Horn of Africa headed for Yemen since the start of the year, most aiming to find work in Gulf countries.

Up to 180 migrants were forced from a boat off the coast of Yemen. The survivors told officials of IOM in Yemen that smugglers have returned to Somalia to bring more migrants to Yemen from the same route. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous.

The IOM statement says smugglers recently have begun pushing migrants out of boats out of fear of arrest.

They had been buried by survivors.

Despite the years-long conflict gripping Yemen, African refugees continue to arrive in war-torn Yemen, where there is no central authority to prevent them from traveling onward.

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"The utter disregard for human life by these smugglers, and all human smugglers worldwide, is nothing less than immoral", said William Lacy Swing, director general of the IOM.

Despite ongoing conflict and dire humanitarian issues, Yemen is still seen by many Africans as a gateway to other Gulf states or Europe.

Strong waves in the Indian Ocean at this time of year make the crossing especially unsafe.

Migrant monitoring agencies claim that 111,5000 asylum seekers arrived in Yemen from Africa past year. Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future. Since 2004, Yemen has witnessed a war between the Houthi rebels and supporters of Yemen's internationally recognised government. A boat carrying Somali migrants was attacked in March, killing 42.

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