At least 112 refugees 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, regional health department official Abdurahman Yasin said.
‘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 and Ethiopians make up for most of the refugees 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.
80 Ethiopian Refugees Detained in NE Somalia
(6 July 2015, Garowe) – Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland security forces have arrested a number of foreign migrants, mainly Ethiopian refugees in Garowe town in north-east of Somalia, police residents have said.
The detained asylum-seekers were planning to travel from Garowe to Yemen where heavy battle between Yemen army and Houthi militias are still going on, police boss, Farah Abdullahi Mohamed said.
Mr. Farah said that its troops had seized three vehicles carrying at least 80 migrants, mainly Ethiopians in west of Garowe, adding that all detainees were taken into police station for furthers interrogations.
In Somalia, Puntland soldiers arrest dozens of Ethiopian refugees in an areas under its control who were several times deported to their countries.