At least 280 migrants, mostly from Ethiopia and Somalia trying to reach the Gulf were thrown into the sea by smugglers off the coast of Yemen, according to the UN’s migration agency.
More than 50 people have drowned and over 30 people still missing in separate incidents from two boats. The UN calls the incident “deeply troubling.”
The International Organization for Migration said it found at least six bodies on the beach and it provided emergency medical services to the survivors.
IOM officials said in the first drowning, 120 migrants were pushed out of the boat, many of them teenagers averaging 16 years old.
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres said he is “heartbroken by this continuing tragedy,” and stressed that the international community must give priority to preventing and resolving the crisis.
Migrants have been facing enormous suffering trying to reach the Gulf and Europe, leaving many deaths in the route.
Migrants trying to head to the Gulf pay at least $200 to be transported across the sea from Yemen. More than 115,000 migrants arrived in Yemen this year in hopes that they could drift to wealthy Arab nations.
At least 2,405 people have died in their attempt to reach Europe through the Mediterranean and at least 265 have died in the Sahara this year.
Rights groups have called for legal pathways for regular migration but Europe is now advocating for more cooperation with frontline nations to secure their porous borders.