UNHCR: At least 56 boat people die while crossing Gulf of Aden

September 14, 2007 14:43

At least 56 Africans have died in recent days trying to make the perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden into Yemen, the UN refugee agency said Friday. Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said hundreds of Somali, Ethiopian and Sudanese have crammed into boats since the start of September in an attempt to escape to the Arabian peninsula. Most were taken by smugglers. Those who made it ashore told UNHCR monitors that people had died as the result of beatings, drowning and simple overcrowding of the often rickety vessels that travel between Somalia and Yemen, Redmond said.

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