SANAA, Yemen, Smugglers forced 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into rough seas, off Yemen, leaving 29 dead and 22 missing, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said, Wednesday.

The IOM said, it had found the shallow graves of 29 migrants on a beach, in the southern province of Shabwa, after they had been buried by survivors.

"The smugglers deliberately pushed the migrants into the waters, since they feared that, they would be arrested by the authorities, once they reach the shore," said an IOM emergency officer in Aden.

Then they "simply went back to where they came from, to pick more migrants and try to smuggle them into Yemen, again."

IOM said, around 55,000 migrants have left the Horn of Africa, headed for Yemen, since the start of the year, most aiming to find work in Gulf countries.

The IOM officer said, there were "many women and children, among those who died, and those who are still missing."

An IOM statement said, its staff had provided urgent care to surviving migrants, who had stayed on the beach.


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