UN: Smugglers throw 280 migrants into the sea off Yemen

An undated handout photo made available by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on 10 Aug 2017 shows IOM staff assisting Somali and Ethiopian migrants, who were reportedly forced into the sea by smugglers, on a beach in Shabwa, Yemen. (EPA photo)

UNITED NATIONS -- Smugglers have thrown some 280 migrants into the sea off the coast of Yemen in the last two days, causing more than 50 to drown and leaving over 30 missing, the UN migration agency said Thursday.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the migrants who were forced from boats in two separate “deeply troubling” incidents were hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen.

The International Organization for Migration said Wednesday that up to 50 migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia were “deliberately drowned” by a smuggler off Yemen. The UN agency said 160 Ethiopian migrants were violently forced into the Arabian Sea on Thursday.

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