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80 African migrants feared drowned

As many as 80 African migrants, mostly Ethiopians, were feared drowned when two boats capsized off the coast of south Yemen, the interior ministry said on Monday.

world Updated: Jan 03, 2011 21:48 IST

As many as 80 African migrants, mostly Ethiopians, were feared drowned when two boats capsized off the coast of south Yemen, the interior ministry said on Monday.

"The accident was caused by high winds and a tsunami which capsized the two boats taking them towards the coast," it said in a statement, quoting the coast guard in the southern port city of Aden.

One boat with 46 migrants, most of them Ethiopians, "capsized in a coastal region ... of Taez province, with all those on board drowning except for three Somalis who survived," it said.

Another boat carrying "between 35 to 40 people, all of the Ethiopians and among them women and children" went down off the coast of another southern province, Lahij, the ministry said.

"Their fate is not yet known," it said, adding that a search was underway but without specifying what day the incidents took place.