At least 49 migrants dead, 140 missing off Yemen coast: IOM

At least 49 migrants died and 140 others are missing after their boat capsized off the coast of Yemen, the U.N. migration agency (IOM) reported on Tuesday.

The vessel, which departed from Somalia with 260 migrants on board, included both Somalis and Ethiopians, according to the IOM statement. A Yemeni official had earlier reported at least 38 dead.

The boat capsized on Monday near Alghareef Point in Yemen’s Shabwah governorate, resulting in the deaths of 31 women and six children, IOM said.

“This recent tragedy is another reminder of the urgent need to work together to address urgent migration challenges and ensure the safety and security of migrants along migration routes,” said Mohammedali Abunajela, a spokesperson for IOM.

IOM, which tracks migrant deaths and disappearances, has recorded 1,860 deaths and disappearances along the route from East Africa to Gulf countries since 2014, with nearly 500 caused by drowning.

IOM described this migration route as one of the world’s busiest and most perilous. Migrants, often relying on smugglers, face increased risks, including human trafficking, during the dangerous journey to Yemen.

According to the United Nations, 97,000 migrants arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa last year.

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