Thursday's incident is the second in two days; nearly 70 presumed dead in total.
A group of around 180 migrants were forced from a boat off the coast of Yemen on Thursday in what seems to be “the start of a new trend,” according to a spokeswoman for the International Organization of Migration (IOM). Of those 180, at least 19 are feared dead. This is the second incident in two days, as around 50 other people — among 120 thrown into the sea — died on Wednesday “after being pushed from a boat by smugglers who feared arrest,” according to BBC. “Smugglers know the situation is dangerous for them and they could be shot at, so they drop them near the shore,” said the spokeswoman.
The IOM discovered the bodies of 29 migrants on a Yemeni beach this Wednesday, hastily buried in shallow graves by the survivors. The average age of the dead is 16. Of the 19 presumed victims from Thursday’s incident, only five bodies have so far been recovered.
In spite of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, the country is still considered by many African migrants as a gateway to either other Gulf countries or Europe, BBC affirms.