122 migrants die in Somalia boat tragedy

131003122436_lampedusa_bodybags_304x171_reuters_nocreditThe death toll from migrant boat which sank off northern Somalia has risen to 122, officials say.

At least 112 migrants have died when a boat carrying Ethiopians and Somalians sank off the coast of the Somaliland autonomous region in northern Somalia.

The sinking occurred on Friday after the vessel suffered technical problems, said regional health department official Abdurahman Yasin.

“The coast guard rescued 75 people and local residents spotted 112 bodies” that were washed ashore, he added.

The injured are being treated at a health centre in the nearby town of Berbera.

Some three members of the crew of the stricken vessel were arrested as they tried to flee into nearby mountains and they will be questioned by authorities, Ahmed Abdi Falay, the chairman or governor of Sanag region, said.

Every year, thousands of people die in the waters off the coast of Africa while trying to reach Yemen in order to escape conflict ridden situations and poor economic prospects at home.

Yemen serves as a gateway to the rich Gulf countries in the Middle East.

Somalians, Eritreans and Ethiopians make up for most of the migrants who look to cross the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea trying to reach Yemen and beyond in precarious boats, often controlled by unscrupulous human traffickers.


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