Yemen's Interior Ministry says 45 Somali migrants drowned when their boat capsized off the Yemeni coast.

The statement says three crew members who were arrested told authorities the boat capsized Saturday 70 miles off the coast as they were making their way to Yemen.

Hundreds of Africans die every year trying to reach Yemen, with many drowning or being attacked by pirates and smugglers in the dangerous waters separating Somalia and the Arabian peninsula.

The U.N. refugee agency says more than 43,500 migrants — mostly Somalis — arrived illegally by boat to Yemen in 2008.