At least 42 refugees have been killed and dozens injured after the boat they were traveling on was fired upon off Yemen's western coast, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
CNN Reported the boat was carrying up to 160 people when an unknown assailant attacked it early Friday, IOM spokesman Joel Millman said. At least 24 of the injured were being treated at nearby hospitals but dozens more were unaccounted for, he said.
According to the IOM, witnesses have given conflicting accounts of whether a helicopter or a motorized military vessel opened fire on the boat.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.
Civilians suffering 'disproportionately'
Many of the victims were believed to have originated in Somalia, but it is not yet clear how many, the General Consul for the Somali General Consulate in Yemen Ahmed Abdi Hassan told CNN. The attack took place in a "military area," he said.
The UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) said Friday that the refugees were being carried across the Red Sea en route to Sudan.
On Saturday, the agency's spokeswoman in Yemen, Shabia Mantoo, told CNN that 39 people were understood to have been injured, some critically.
"Those injured are receiving treatment in hospitals and are quite shaken by this traumatic event. Our staff have visited them and are providing them with necessary support," Mantoo said.
She said the ongoing conflict in Yemen meant that medical supplies for the survivors were limited.
The UNHCR was working with authorities to determine where the Somali refugees would go next, Mantoo said, with the main priority making sure they received proper treatment, both physically and psychologically.