The United Nations refugee agency says up to 66 people have drowned in the Gulf of Aden after smugglers forced them overboard off the coast of Yemen.
In a statement Tuesday, the agency said the incident occurred Sunday and involved two boats with 244 people aboard - most of them Somalis and Ethiopians.
Survivors say smugglers forced the passengers into deep water after the boats reached the Yemeni coast off Hawrat Al Shatee. The refugee agency says 28 bodies were buried on the beach, while 38 people are still missing.
Thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians try to cross the Gulf of Aden each year in search of a better life.
The U.N. says more than 430 would-be migrants have died this year making the dangerous voyage.
It says that nearly 500 others are missing and feared dead.
The death toll is an increase from last year, when at least 330 migrants died trying to cross the Gulf of Aden from Africa.