Ferry with 55 people missing off eastern Yemen's coast

ADEN (XINHUA) - Local authorities on Socotra Island announced on Saturday (Sept 28) that a ferry carrying an estimated 55 people went missing on the Indian Ocean off Yemen's eastern coast.

An official of the local authority in Socotra said that "we made necessary communications with the Saudi-led coalition after receiving the information about the ferry that went missing, and a search and rescue operation was launched."

The Yemeni official named as Raed Huraibi said that the ferry, owned by a local trader, left the province of Mahrah last Wednesday but failed to arrive on time.

Military units of the Saudi-led Arab coalition have a presence in Yemen's eastern provinces including Mahrah in an attempt to enhance security and combat smuggling operations.

Other Yemeni security units backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are present on the country's Island of Socotra.

Socotra is a Unesco world natural heritage site protected by the UN body for its unique flora and fauna.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia led a military coalition to intervene in Yemen's civil war in 2015 to restore the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.