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Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 12:28 UK

Migrants 'drown' off Somali coast

Refugees on a boat leaving Bossasso, Somalia (file image)
UNHCR says about 43,000 people have tried to cross this year

Some 65 migrants are feared to have died this week, trying to cross from Somalia to Yemen, the UN says.

Sixteen deaths have been confirmed, while 49 people are missing feared drowned in three separate incidents, says the UN refugee agency.

Eleven people suffocated, while three were beaten to death by people smugglers, it says.

Hundreds of Africans drown each year, trying to reach Yemen in crowded and often unseaworthy boats.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says people smugglers are now using larger vessels "which puts more lives at risk".

It says some 860 boats carrying 43,586 people have tried to cross the Gulf of Aden so far this year.

Some 273 people have drowned or are presumed dead, it says.



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