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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thousands of Somalis, Ethiopians brave deadly seas in bid to flee to Yemen

Associated Press

February 1, 2011

BOSSASO, Somalia (AP) - A boat smuggling 36 migrants fleeing war-ravaged Somalia for Yemen stopped dead in the Gulf of Aden when the engine failed. Anxious passengers stood up to see what was going on, causing the vessel to capsize and pitch them into the choppy waters

By moonlight, Nasteeho Mohamud Weheliye saw her companions drowning. She survived by clutching a floating plastic jerry can. The captain and his assistant also survived but all the other refugees apparently drowned.

Each year thousands of Africans brave the shark- and pirate-infested Gulf of Aden. Many die.

More than 181,000 migrants, most of them Ethiopians and Somalis, arrived in Yemen in the last three years, according to the U.N.'s refugee agency. More than 1,100 others went missing.


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