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At least 52 die fleeing Somali

At least 52 Somalis died when the boat smuggling them across to Yemen broke down and left them without food or water for 18 days, U.N. officials said Sunday.

Those that survived ranged in age from 2 to 40. Their boat drifted into Yemeni coastal waters and they were rescued by coastal guardsmen.

According to UPI.com,the Somali refugees were fleeing Somalia because of drought, unemployment and other insecurities in their war-torn nation. Each passenger paid between $70 and $100 to board the ship.

The boat left Somalia in early September with more than 120 people on board. The engine stopped after only a few hours.

According to CNN, 38 men and 10 women died during the 18 days the boat was drifting along the Gulf of Aden. Survivors said their bodies were thrown overboard. The other four that were accounted for died after being hospitalized.

This year, more than 31 thousand people have traveled to Yemen through smuggler's boats. More than 228 Somalis and Ethiopians have died, and 262 are still missing. (CNN)

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees believes that this large number may be because of displacements in Somalia, new smuggling routes across the gulf, and the belief that there is less surveillance during the holy month of Ramadan.