130 African migrants missing after boats capsize off Djibouti


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Illustrative picture. PHOTO CREDIT: SHIPS & PORTS archive

At least 130 African migrants are missing off the coast of Djibouti after two boats said to be overloaded, capsized in bad weather on Tuesday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

IOM in a statement said a team of gendarmes found two survivors and the bodies of five migrants after they were alerted by local residents.

“After being alerted by local residents, a team of gendarmerie gathered this afternoon near the reported site of the disaster and discovered two survivors as well as the remains of three women and two men.

“The coast guard was also alerted and launched search and rescue operations. Those operations are still underway with two patrol boats,” the statement said.

The vessels were heading to Yemen from the region of Obock in Djibouti when the incident happened.

IOM staff identified an 18-year-old male survivor believed to have among 130 passengers on the first boat, but he had no information on the second craft, the statement said.