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38 migrants confirmed dead off Djibouti after boats capsize

The overcrowded boats, carrying mostly Ethiopians, had set sail on rough seas when they capsized shortly after departing Djibouti, officials said.

FILE: A migrant is rescued from the Mediterranean sea by a member of Proactiva Open Arms NGO north of Libya on 3 October 2016. Picture: AFP

NAIROBI - More than 100 migrants are believed missing and 38 confirmed dead off the coast of Djibouti after two boats capsized, the UN migration agency said on Wednesday.

The overcrowded boats, carrying mostly Ethiopians, had set sail on rough seas when they capsized shortly after departing Djibouti, said Lalini Veerassamy, chief of mission in Djibouti for the International Organisation for Migration.

Djibouti’s coastguard is continuing its search for survivors, she said, adding that beyond the IMO’s rough estimate it was not clear how many more migrants might be missing.

Many thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa region board boats from Djibouti each year, hoping to cross to the Arabian Peninsula in search of work.