||Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 - 6:47:33 AM
Yemen arrests 154 Nigerian, Sudanese infiltrators
Yemeni coast-guard have arrested 154 African infiltrators from Nigeria and Sudan in the western province of al-Hodaidah, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
A total of 143 Nigerians, including 46 women and 25 children, along with 11 Sudanese were arrested in al-Hodaidah province, located near the Red Sea, said the ministry in a statement.
"The African infiltrators were captured when they arrived in two boats in the city of al-Leahya in al-Hodaidah," said the Yemeni coast-guard in the Red Sea was quoted by the Interior Ministry as saying.
The ministry did not provide the date of arrest, but said it has seized the two smuggling boasts and sent the Africans to the security authorities for interrogation on charges of illegally entering Yemen.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday on its website that Yemeni border guards have seized 1,200 African infiltrators in the past two days after they illegally sneaked into western Yemeni coastal city of al-Leahya in al-Hodaidah.
The report said the infiltrators were from different African nations, providing no further information.
Last month, the Sanaa government launched security campaign on its wide-spreading coasts to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into the country.
It also launched an arrest campaign to detain foreigners who are not registered as a refugee or who have no residence permits as well as those who violate the rules of residence.
The campaign followed a threat by Somali extremists to supply their peers in the Yemen-based wing of al-Qaida with logistic support including arms and fighters.
According to official statistics, Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, hosts 800,000 African migrants despite its faltered economy and security problems.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) last month said more than 74,000 Africans, fleeing civil war, political instability, poverty and drought in Somalia, crossed the Gulf of Aden to reach Yemen in 2009, a 50 percent increase over the 50,000 arrivals in 2008.
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