At least 112 drown in boat sinking off Yemen's coast
Last Updated: Friday, February 16, 2007 | 6:59 PM ET
The Associated Press
A boat loaded with more than 200 Somali and Ethiopian migrants capsized in the Gulf of Aden during a treacherous night crossing and at least 112 people drowned, a Yemeni official said Friday.
The boat was among a group of four vessels carrying migrants from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, a UN official and a Yemeni human rights activist said.
When it capsized late Monday, smugglers in the other boats forced their passengers into the sea so they themselves could return quickly to shore, said the human rights activist, whose group helped survivors from the accident.
The activist spoke on condition his name and organization not be identified because he feared problems with the government.
At least 169 survivors made it to shore in the coastal region of Shabwa province, east of Aden, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said. Bodies also washed ashore in the region and were buried in several mass graves by residents.
"The bodies were in a very bad condition, as many of them were missing limbs or mutilated because they were crashing against stones," Mohammed bin Mubarak, a Shabwa resident who helped bury 10 bodies, told the Associated Press by telephone from the region.