42 Somali killed by military helicopter attack

Published on 21 March 2017 in News
Yasser Rayes (author)

Yasser Rayes


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According to eye witnesses the helicopter came right over the boat and started firing, at which point the migrants held up flash lights and yelled we are “Somali” then the shooting stopped, however damage was already done. (AP Photo/Abdel-Karim Muhammed)

According to eye witnesses the helicopter came right over the boat and started firing, at which point the migrants held up flash lights and yelled we are “Somali” then the shooting stopped, however damage was already done. (AP Photo/Abdel-Karim Muhammed)

A military attack helicopter opened fire on boat carrying Somali migrants on Friday March 17 heading for Sudan just off the cost of Hodeida province.

After the attack 42 bodies were recovered according to Mohammed Abdiker, emergencies director at the International Organization for Migration.

According to eye witnesses the helicopter came right over the boat and started firing, at which point the migrants held up flash lights and yelled we are “Somali” then the shooting stopped, however damage was already done.

According to a Yemeni Port official this is not the first boat to be attacked, adding that such boats are often attacked because they look like boats used by the Houthis whom Saudi Arabia have accused of receiving weapons from Iran through such boats.

Despite accusation by several observers including “Ansar Allah” locally known as the Houthis, the Saudi-led Arab coalition hasn’t admitted carrying out the attack.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen said it did not conduct any operations or have any engagement on Thursday in the Hodeidah area where the attack took place.