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Death Toll Rises To 42 In Airstrike Off Yemen

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International Organization for Migration says Somali boat was struck in Red Sea off Yemen

Death toll rose to 42 in an airstrike on a migrant boat in the Red Sea off Yemen, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Saturday.

The boat was packed with Somali migrants, including women and children, heading to Sudan.

IOM said it provided medical, food and financial assistance for the 39 migrants who were rescued in the attack.

“The attack took place in the Red Sea off Yemen, late Thursday,” IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a news conference in Geneva on Friday.

The statement said that Yemen hosts 270,000 migrants including 255,000 Somalis.

No one has yet claimed the attack.

The United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR on Monday called for an inquiry into the airstrike.

"Over forty lives have been lost in this unwarranted attack on helpless civilians fleeing violence and conflict,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement Monday.
"Many questions remain unanswered on the circumstances of this horrific event,” he underlined. “We call on all parties to the conflict to make proper inquiries to ensure accountability and to prevent this from happening again."
Yemen fell into civil war in 2014, when Houthi rebels and allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched an extensive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.
UN-brokered peace talks between the government and Houthi rebels have failed to resolve the conflict, in which 10,000 people were killed and around three million displaced, according to UN estimates.
According to UN, Yemen is immersed in a humanitarian crisis and is at risk of famine.
Yemen hosts 270,000 migrants including 255,000 Somalis, according to the International Organization for Migration.

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