U.N. says mi­grants put off boat to drown

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

JOHANNESBURG — Scores of mi­grants from So­ma­lia and Ethiopia were “de­lib­er­ately drowned” when a smug­gler forced them into the sea off Ye­men’s coast, the U.N.’s mi­gra­tion agency said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day.

The In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion state­ment called the in­ci­dent “shock­ing and in­hu­mane.” It said agency work­ers found the shal­low graves of 29 mi­grants on a beach in Shabwa dur­ing a rou­tine pa­trol.

The state­ment said the smug­gler forced more than 120 mi­grants into the sea Wed­nes­day morn­ing when ap­proach­ing Ye­men’s coast.

The state­ment said agency work­ers pro­vided aid for 27 sur­viv­ing mi­grants who re­mained on the beach, while other mi­grants left. The agency said 22 mi­grants are miss­ing.

The nar­row wa­ters be­tween the Horn of Africa and Ye­men have been a pop­u­lar mi­gra­tion route de­spite Ye­men’s on­go­ing con­flict.

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