« Ted Kennedy suffers mild seizure | Main | Ted Kennedy suffers mild seizure »

At least 52 Somalis die in attempt to reach Yemen

CNN reported that at least 52 Somalis died when the boat smuggling them across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen broke down, leaving them without food or water for 18 days.

Seventy-one people survived. The survivors were rescued by coast guardsmen in Shihr after the boat drifted into Yemeni coastal waters September 21, according to a news release from the San'a, Yemen, office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

The boat's engine stopped shortly after departing Somalia. The smugglers abandoned the boat for another craft and did not return for the refugees.

Forty-eight of the Somalis, 38 men and 10 women, died while the boat was adrift. Survivors said the bodies were thrown overboard, the UNHCR said. Four survivors of the ordeal later died at a medical center.

The survivors said they left Somalia because of drought, unemployment and other insecurity in the war-torn nation.

According to the UNHCR at least 31,192 people have arrived in Yemen aboard smugglers' boats this year. More than 228 Somalis and Ethiopians have died, and 262 are missing.

A Washington Post also report on this story, including information on what happens to those who survive the journey from Somalia to Yemen.

Survivors register with the U.N. refugee agency and stay in refugee camps in Yemen. Others can take jobs in the cities as laborers for less than a $1 a day.