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Executive Summary for March 17th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a deadly attack on a boat off Yemen, latest asylum figures from Europe and an armed ambush on a humanitarian convoy in South Sudan.

Published on March 17, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Helicopter Attack on Refugee Boat Off Yemen Leaves 31 Somalis Dead

An Apache helicopter attacked a boat carrying Somali refugees from war-torn Yemen to Sudan, leaving at least 31 dead, Reuters reports.

About 80 refugees were rescued from the waters after the attack. The news agency said it was not immediately clear who was responsible.

The boat passengers were carrying United Nations refugee agency papers. They were traveling from Hodeidah on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, which is controlled by Houthi fighters, through the Bab al-Mandeb strait.

More Than 1.2 Million Sought Asylum in Europe Last Year

More than 1.2 million people claimed asylum in the European Union last year, a small decrease from the 1.26 million applications the previous year, the E.U. statistical agency Eurostat said.

The number of E.U. asylum claims has doubled since 2014, when 562,700 people applied.

In 2016, most asylum claims were made by Syrians (334,800), followed by Afghans (183,000) and Iraqis (127,000). Most applications were filed in Germany – around 60 percent – followed by 10 percent in Italy.

Deadly Ambush on Humanitarian Convoy in South Sudan

A humanitarian convoy in South Sudan came under attack by unknown gunmen who shot two people dead, the International Organization for Migration said.

An IOM health officer was among a number of people wounded in the ambush on the convoy in Yirol East County, an area of South Sudan which has been affected by a deadly cholera outbreak.

Other parts of the country are in the grip of famine and civil war. More than 1.8 million people are internally displaced and 1.5 million others have fled as refugees.

“In a country overwhelmed by the huge lack of basic necessities due to conflict, famine and health epidemics, these types of attacks undoubtedly harm the ability of humanitarian partners to provide assistance to millions in need of lifesaving aid,” IOM director general William Lacy Swing said in a statement.

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