75 Somalis missing in Yemen Coast

Published on Friday 28th March 2008

Sanna, March 28: At least 75 Somali migrants have drowned off the coast of Yemen while trying to cross from Somalia to the Arab country, a Yemeni official said.

The official said the captain of the vessel carrying more than 250 migrants forced them to leave the ship and to try to swim ashore on Thursday. About 180 survived, Reuters report said.

Many African migrants try to reach Yemen, which they see as a gateway to other parts of the Middle East, and the West.

Over the past year, Mogadishu has been rocked by almost daily violence pitting Ethiopian-backed Somali forces against Islamist insurgents.

The guerrilla fighting has killed hundreds of civilians and forced tens of thousands to flee.