Saudis Attack Boat, Kill 42 Somali Refugees Off Yemen Coast

UN: Dead Included Refugees With UNHCR Documents

Saudi Arabia’s invasion of Yemen has not only produced a humanitarian calamity in that country, but appears to be extending to people who are even adjacent to Yemen, as a Saudi military helicopter attacked a boat full of Somali refugees aiming to reach the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, killing at least 42 of them.

Hodeidah is a Red Sea port that has been the primary point of entry for humanitarian aid into Shi’ite northern Yemen, and subsequently has been regularly attacked by Saudi Arabia itself, with regular airstrikes badly damaging port infrastructure.

Somali refugees have long flocked to Yemen, just a relatively short boat ride away, though the Saudi invasion has obviously made that trip both riskier, and lower-reward, since Yemen itself is facing major humanitarian shortages because of the Saudi blockade.

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that the slain refugees, whose bodies arrived in Hodeidah along with some survivors, included people who had official identifying documents from the UNHCR confirming their refugee status.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.