Eleven people drown in Gulf of Aden

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Gulf of Aden

At least 11 people have drowned and 34 others are missing after trying to sail from Somalia to Yemen on a smugglers' boat.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the boat which had set sail for Yemen last Saturday developed mechanical problems during the crossing.

It remained adrift for five days before capsizing in rough seas on Wednesday.

UNHCR spokesman, Adrian Edwards says the details of the incident are shocking.

"What survivors are recounting is that more or less as soon as the boat's engine had broken down, people were pushed into the sea. We know 22 passengers reported to have been pushed overboard at that moment. Authorities in the Somali port town of Bossaso are investigating. We certainly hope that those responsible will be brought to justice. So far 11 bodies have been recovered, mostly in beaches around the village of Ceelaayo some 30 kilometres west of Bossaso."

Every year thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians fleeing violence and poverty in the Horn of Africa pay people smugglers to ferry them across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen.

(Duration: 26")

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