Survivors, who are being treated, say inhuman smugglers heartlessly threw dozens of passengers overboard soon after leaving Oulebi to lighten the load of a boat carrying some 200 refugees and asylum seekers.
The International Organisation for Migration has said at least 20 migrants are dead after smugglers threw 80 overboard during a voyage from Djibouti in East Africa to Yemen.
A statement says “smugglers started shouting there were too many on board” after the boat with 200 migrants, including children under 18, set off on Wednesday.
“Survivors believe at least 20 people have been killed. There are still some unaccounted for. Five bodies washed up onshore,” said Yvonne Ndege, IOM regional spokesperson for the East and Horn of Africa, told Africa24.News
About thirty minutes into the voyage across the Gulf of Aden the smugglers panicked, survivors said, throwing around 80 people overboard before turning the vessel back toward Djibouti.
“Of the 80 people who were forced off, only 60 made it back to shore,” Ndege said.
Five bodies were recovered Wednesday and there are fears the death toll could still rise.
This has happened before as thousands of migrants continue to try to make their way from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and then on to rich Gulf countries.