A total of 197 people, presumably illegal migrants to Saudi Arabia, drowned when their vessel caught fire in Sudan’s territorial waters late on Tuesday, the Sudanese Media Center said.
“A total of 197 people from neighboring countries drowned in Sudan’s territorial waters of the Red Sea when fire broke out on a boat illegally transporting them to Saudi Arabia,” the agency said, citing officials.
Only three people were rescued. A search for possible survivors is underway.
The boat was flying a Cuban flag. Four Yemeni nationals, suspected owners of the boat, have been detained.
In a separate development, another boat with 247 migrants onboard, mostly nationals of Somalia, Eritrea, Chad, and Nigeria, was detained while travelling in the same area.