Apr 16,2007 00:00
SANA'A, Yemen - About 130 Somali and Ethiopian migrants reportedly died at sea off the Yemeni coast after coast guard fire caused their boats to capsize.
Three boats carrying 460 migrants were believed to have left Somalia April 9, arriving in Yemeni waters April 12, AllAfrica.com reported.
"As the smuggling boats entered the Yemeni waters, coast guards began firing on them, causing one boat to capsize," said Sadat Mohammed, head of refugee affairs in the Somali community in Sana'a.
Mohammed said some of the boats began disposing of passengers when the coast guard opened fire. He said he expects strong sea waves to bring bodies ashore eventually.
AllAfrica.com said this was the second incident of its kind in the past month. Three boats arrived at the Yemeni coast three weeks ago with 365 passengers, 34 who were believed to have drowned after being forced overboard by smugglers.
Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.