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    Death toll up to 42 after migrant boat capsizes off Djibouti

    NAIROBI, KENYA (AP) — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the death toll has risen to 42 after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti early Monday.

    Sixteen children were among the dead, spokeswoman Yvonne Ndege said. She said 14 people survived.

    “The smugglers have not yet been found,” she said.

    IOM’s spokeswoman in Yemen Olivia Headon said the migrants were returning from Yemen because of the dire situation in the Arab world’s poorest country, wrecked by war.

    “They were so desperate to leave Yemen they put their lives back into the hands of unscrupulous smugglers,” she said.

    Many people seek to make the voyage from Ethiopia and Somalia to Yemen and on to richer Gulf countries as they flee poverty and insecurity in search of work. But the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges force some to turn back.

    Migrants wait to be assisted by aid workers of the Spanish non-governmental organisation Open Arms on board a boat in the Mediterranean sea, about 110 miles north of Libya. PHOTO: AP

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