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At least 17 migrants drowned off Yemeni shores

Officials said on Monday that the incident took place near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.

By: Associated Press | Sanaa |
February 2, 2015 10:20:48 pm

Yemeni security officials say 17 African migrants drowned off Yemen’s shores when their boat carrying dozens capsized off the western coast.

Officials said on Monday that the incident took place near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. A total of 49 migrants were aboard the boat, they said.

Most of the migrants were Ethiopian and Somalian. Search and rescue operations are underway, looking for any survivors.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

Tens of thousands of migrants make the treacherous journey between the Horn of African and Yemen every year, refugee organizations say.

The United Nations has documented more than 200 deaths at sea in 2014- which it says exceeds the combined totals from 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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