UN: 57 Somalis drowned in Gulf of Aden

AP News
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Posted: Feb 24, 2011 5:24 AM

The U.N. refugee agency says 57 Somalis have drowned in the Gulf of Aden.

The agency said Thursday that 54 Somali refugees and three smugglers drowned when their boat capsized Sunday.

The sole survivor was a 42-year-old father of three who swam 23 hours to the Yemeni coast near the port town of Bir Ali.

He said the boat was struck by strong waves and overturned.

U.N. officials say 23 bodies had been recovered as of late Wednesday.

The U.N. calls it the largest loss of life in the seas between Somalia and Yemen in a single incident since January 2008, when 114 people drowned in another smuggling mishap.