The International Organization for Migration said Thursday at least 20 migrants are dead after smugglers threw 80 overboard during a voyage from Djibouti in East Africa to Yemen.
A statement said “smugglers started shouting there were too many on board” after the boat with 200 migrants, including children under 18, set off on Wednesday.
The IOM said five bodies have been recovered, and survivors are being treated in Djibouti.
The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting closed borders have slowed but not stopped the flow of migrants. The IOM said about 138,000 people made the journey in 2019 but just 37,500 in 2020.
It is not immediately clear what countries the migrants in this latest journey were from, but many make the voyage from Ethiopia and Somalia.