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PRETORIA - The UN says people smugglers have deliberately drowned up to 50 migrants, mostly teenagers from Somalia and Ethiopia, off the coast of Yemen.

About a third of those forced into the sea when the smugglers thought they saw authority figures on the beach were women.

The news comes from the International Organisation for Migration, which calls the drownings shocking and inhumane.

UN staffers found the shallow graves of 29 of the migrants on a beach in Shabwa during a routine patrol.

The dead were buried by those who survived.

At least 22 migrants are still missing.

The passengers' average age was around 16.

The narrow waters between the Horn of Africa and Yemen has been a popular migration route despite Yemen's ongoing conflict. Migrants try to make their way to the oil-rich Gulf countries

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